Solis, Kirk, LaHood Add To Obama's Diverse Team

President-elect Barack Obama's diverse list of key administration choices grew Thursday, with the news that he will announce Rep. Hilda Solis, a California Democrat, as his labor secretary, a Democratic official said.

And NPR has confirmed widespread speculation that U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, a Republican from Illinois, will be Obama's pick for secretary of transportation.

In addition, the president-elect is expected to name former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk as his choice for U.S. trade representative, media reports said. The Dallas Morning News reported that Kirk called friends Thursday to tell them the news.

Obama is expected to announce at least some of those selections at a news conference Friday; he is scheduled to leave Chicago for a family vacation in Hawaii on Saturday.

Solis, 51, is the daughter of Latin American immigrants. She was first elected to Congress in 2000 and is the first Hispanic woman to serve on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Solis has been an outspoken advocate on women's issues.

LaHood, 63, has represented 11 counties in central and western Illinois since entering Congress in 1994. It's the same general area Abraham Lincoln served during his one term in Congress in the 1840s. Despite the Democratic gains in the House and Senate, LaHood was re-elected in November with more than 67 percent of the vote.

Kirk, 54, now a partner in the Dallas office of the Houston-based law firm Vinson and Elkins, was the first black mayor of Dallas, serving from 1995 to 2002.

Schapiro To Head SEC

On Thursday, he named Mary Schapiro as his choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency that has been the focus of criticism in recent weeks for failing to act on questionable practices that may have cost investors billions of dollars.

In addition, Obama announced Gary Gensler as his pick to lead the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Daniel Tarullo to fill an open seat on the Federal Reserve Board.

Obama appeared with Schapiro, Gensler and Tarullo at a news conference on Thursday. It was his fourth in as many days to announce administration appointments.

Obama's Cabinet selections, which must be confirmed by the Senate, also include Hillary Clinton for secretary of state, Bill Richardson for commerce secretary and Nobel Physics laureate Steven Chu for energy secretary. He's also asked Robert Gates to stay on as defense secretary.

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