A Boston-based advocacy group hopes the third time's the charm in getting an openly gay person in President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet.
Equal Rep unsuccessfully pushed Mary Beth Maxwell as Secretary of Labor, and thus far William White as Secretary of the Navy.
Today, it announced it is launching a nationwide effort to lobby Obama's transition team to pick Fred Hochberg as Secretary of Commerce now that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has withdrawn from consideration.
"It was devastating to learn that gay Americans wouldn't have a seat at the table within Barack Obama's Cabinet administration. They are the only minority group to have never been appointed in the history of the United States," Paul Sousa, Equal Rep's founder, said in a statement. "Fred Hochberg is supremely qualified and this opening is the perfect opportunity for our President-elect to show gay Americans they have not been forgotten and he is truly committed to equal representation."
Hochberg has more than 25 years of experience in business, government, civil rights activities, and philanthropy, the group says. From 1998 through 2000, he served as deputy then acting administrator of the Small Business Administration.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.