Senate Approves Former Wash Governor For Commerce

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed former Washington Gov. Gary Locke as commerce secretary.

The 59-year-old Locke was the nation’s first Chinese-American governor. He has promised to focus on job creation and to closely oversee the 2010 census.

Some Republican lawmakers have been critical of Obama administration comments indicating that the White House might seek greater control over the census.

Locke is President Barack Obama’s third pick to run the Commerce Department. His first two nominees withdrew.

The Commerce Department has broad responsibilities, including the census, many aspects of international trade, oceans policy and weather forecasts. It is also overseeing the nation’s transition to digital TV.