Via MSNBC:

On Wednesday, [President Obama] named former Washington Gov. Gary Locke as his commerce secretary on Wednesday after his top two choices for the post fell through.

“Gary will be a trusted voice in my cabinet, a tireless advocate for our economic competitiveness, and an influential ambassador for American industry who will help us do everything we can — especially now — to promote it around the world.”

Locke, a democrat, is currently working for the Seattle-based law firm Davis Wright Tremaine on issues involving China, energy and governmental relations. He was the former governor of the state of Washington, serving two terms from 1997 to 2005. Locke was the first Chinese-American to serve as governor in the United States.

The president initially selected Bill Richardson for the post, but the governor of New Mexico abruptly withdrew his nomination following the disclosure that he was being investigated by a grand jury. Allegations were rampant of improper business dealings and wrongdoing in the awarding of contracts in his own state.

Obama’s second pick was a republican, Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. Sen. Gregg cited philosophical differences and “irresolvable conflicts” for his departure. He felt that they “are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy”.

Third time’s a charm???…