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Inside the Beltway

Washington politics and government with a New Mexico flavor

UPDATED: Udall ‘Deeply Flattered’ By Interior Job Speculation but Plans to Run for Re-election

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The Washington Post is reporting that Sen. Tom Udall is among those the White House is considering to replace Ken Salazar as secretary of the Interior.

But Udall, who just earned a seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee and has his sights set on his 2014 re-election, issued a statement to the Journal that suggests he doesn’t want the job – at least not now. However, he didn’t rule it out entirely, either.

“I have tremendous respect for Secretary Salazar and the work he’s done at the Department of Interior,” Udall said. “Managing our natural resources is a responsibility that’s critical for every region of our country and the West in particular. The position also holds special significance for me because of the great things my father accomplished as secretary.

“While I’m deeply flattered to be mentioned, my sights are set on fighting for New Mexico on the Appropriations Committee and earning re-election from the people of our state in 2014.”

Udall’s late father, Stewart Udall, served as interior secretary under President John F. Kennedy so naturally, the post holds significance within the Udall family.

Salazar this month announced he will step down from the job and return to his home state of Colorado.

You can read the Post blog here and I’ll have more on this as it develops.

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