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Hispanic lawyer likely successor to Ashcroft

Alberto Gonzales, a Hispanic lawyer who has been mentioned as a possible U.S. Supreme Court justice, is likely to be nominated as Attorney General, according to news reports.

Gonzales currently serves as White House counsel to President Bush. Of Mexican heritage, he is a former judge from Texas who served as an aide to then-governor Bush at a time when the state was trying to shut down the Tigua Tribe's casino.

Republicans said Gonzales was likely to be appointed as head of the Department of Justice to replace John Ashcroft, whose resignation was announced yesterday. Larry D. Thompson, Ashcroft's deputy, was another candidate but Republicans said he is not interested in the job. Thompson would be the first African-American attorney general.

Another possible contender is former Montana governor Marc Racicot, who has become a top GOP leader since leaving the state. Racicot had a genial relationship with tribes in the state and appeared supportive of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe's bid for recognition but was criticized for a state policy that allows workers to shoot bison that wander out of Yellowstone National Park.

Commerce Secretary Don Evans also announced his resignation yesterday. He could be replaced by Mercer Reynolds III, a Cincinnati businessman who was finance chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign, according to news reports.

Get the Story:
Ashcroft, Evans To Leave Cabinet (The Washington Post 11/10)
Evans Relied On Low-Key Approach (The Washington Post 11/10)
Ashcroft Quits Top Justice Post; Evans Going, Too (The New York Times 11/10)
Ashcroft Powerful and Polarizing (The New York Times 11/10)

Relevant Documents:
Text of Ashcroft's Resignation Letter | Text of Evans's Resignation Letter