Ron Kirk leaving Obama Cabinet

Posted Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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WASHINGTON - Ron Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, former Dallas mayor and the only member of President Barack Obama's Cabinet from Texas, is returning to the Lone Star State.

"He's going to head back to Texas," said a source who spoke on condition of anonymity because the White House has not announced Kirk's departure. "He needs to make money. He's definitely going back to the private sector."

Kirk is an attorney. His leaving after one term has been widely anticipated in Washington, but there have been lingering questions about him staying if he got a more high-profile job.

When asked for comment, Kirk's office referred to remarks that the trade representative, who is referred to as an ambassador, made last spring saying he expected to resign after the first term.

Although the timing of Kirk's departure is unclear, the exit of an African-American Cabinet member comes at a time when the Obama administration is under fire for creating a predominately white, male inner circle.

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., called the lack of diversity "embarrassing" on MSNBC Thursday.

In another Cabinet development, The Hill, a congressional publication, Thursday quoted sources saying that newly retired Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, is a possible nominee to become Obama's new transportation secretary.

Maria Recio is the Star-Telegram's Washington bureau chief, 202-383-6103

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