(CNN) - Two Democrats close to the transition tell CNN that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is now expected to be nominated as Secretary of Commerce by President-elect Barack Obama, pending the final vetting process.
Richardson, one of the leading Hispanics in the Democratic Party, had been seeking the Secretary of State post but lost out to Sen. Hillary Clinton. Obama aides have told CNN that Obama is “on track” to nominate Clinton as his secretary of state after Thanksgiving.
The precise timing on the announcement of Richardson’s appointment is unclear.
Two Richardson advisers said privately that Richardson had been hoping State would be his prize after facing political heat for picking Obama over Clinton, but the governor is willing to accept another post in hopes that he will move up in the Cabinet later in the administration.
Richardson served as Energy Secretary and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton administration.
Obama’s pick will now mean that at least three former rivals from the Democratic presidential primaries will be in senior posts in the Obama administration - Richardson, Clinton and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.