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Originally published Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Gary Locke and Commerce, a good fit

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke offers President Obama an excellent set of administrative, legal and political skills for an appointment as Secretary of Commerce.

FORMER Washington Gov. Gary Locke is an excellent choice to be Secretary of Commerce. After two false starts to fill the cabinet post, President Obama recovered nicely.

More is at work here than hometown pride, but that is certainly a factor. Locke shows off the region well, sending the other Washington one of the Pacific Northwest's best and brightest.

During two terms as the state's chief executive, Locke embraced business, extolled education and worked to spread the fruits of the Washington economy around the state.

His experience and skill sets provide a natural transition for a commerce secretary who is expected to help strengthen the U.S. economy and workforce with domestic initiatives and productive contacts abroad. Even Locke's work on Northwest salmon issues will help him with the department's regulatory oversight of the oceans and marine fisheries.

After eight years as governor, Locke applied his political and legal skills to representing international business clients for the Seattle office of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine. His work made him a regular visitor to China, where he represented some of the nation's most visible business nameplates.

Locke's blend of administrative experience, political skills and diplomatic instincts served the nation's most trade-dependent state. Having Locke's talents and work ethic elevated to a national presence and mission serves the country well.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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