The vetting continues for Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, as does the waiting.
Otter is among President-elect Donald Trump’s potential picks to head the USDA, and although the job heading Agriculture came second to Interior for the 74-year-old governor, Otter said Monday he was “working on the second choice, answering phone calls—not from anybody at Trump Tower yet, but from the transition team.”
Otter said he earlier spoke by phone to Donald Trump Jr. for 20 minutes when the Interior post was in play. That position went to Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke last week.
Otter, speaking Monday after he chaired the meeting of Idaho’s presidental electors. said the vetting he is now undergoing “has been a lot more intense than the (vetting for) Interior was.”
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Those seeking positions in the Trump administration were asked to name their three preferred assignments. After Interior and Agriculture, Otter indicated interest in serving as U.S. Trade Representative, whose office conducts trade negotiations and recommends trade policy to the president.
Other Agriculture secretary candidates mentioned are Democrat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, South Dakota Republican Rep. Kristi Noem, and Texas ag commissioner Sid Miller.