REUTERS - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
said on Sunday he was withdrawing as President-elect Barack
Obama's nominee for commerce secretary because of an
investigation into a company that had done business with his
Obama said in a statement he had accepted Richardson's
decision with "deep regret" and said it showed "his willingness
to put the nation first that he has removed himself as a
candidate for the Cabinet in order to avoid any delay in
filling this important economic post at this critical time."
Obama said he would move quickly to fill the position.
Richardson said in a separate statement he had done nothing
wrong but the investigation would have caused a long delay in
the confirmation process.