Trump to pick Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to run Interior Department, reports say
SEATTLE — President-elect Donald Trump will choose Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., to run the Interior Department, news media outlets reported Friday, citing Trump transition sources.
McMorris Rodgers, who holds the No. 4 leadership post in the U.S. House, is a climate-change skeptic and an advocate for expanded oil and gas development, the Reuters news agency reported.
USA Today and The Hill also reported the McMorris Rodgers pick.
Her office has not confirmed the reports yet.
But the Associated Press in Spokane said politicians were already scrambling in her Eastern Washington district to replace her in Congress.
Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, a Democrat, immediately threw his hat into the ring Friday.
Stuckart would be the first Democrat to represent the conservative 5th Congressional District since Tom Foley, who rose to become Speaker of the House before he was voted out in 1994.
State Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, also announced he will be running for McMorris Rodgers’ seat if she resigns from Congress. He said he and his wife will make a personal loan of $200,000 to his campaign and hope to raise an additional $500,000 for the race.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, a Republican, is also interested.
McMorris Rodgers, 47, is a conservative who won the open House seat in 2004 and has been easily re-elected since.
According to Reuters, the League of Conservation Voters, which publishes a score card ranking the environmental record of each member of Congress, gave McMorris Rodgers a zero in its most recent ratings. It was among several environmental groups that criticized her likely nomination.
“Donald Trump just posted a massive ‘for sale’ sign on our public lands,” the LCV said in a statement.