[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/23/art.getty.locke.jpg caption="Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke will be the third person President Obama has named to head the Commerce Department."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday morning that former Washington Gov. Gary Locke is his nominee for commerce secretary, two senior administration officials told CNN.
Locke, 57, was the country's first Chinese-American governor, elected to lead Washington in 1996 and re-elected in 2000.
Prior to becoming governor, he served five terms in the Washington state House of Representatives and one term as King County executive. He was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee from 1989 to 1994.
A lawyer, Locke is currently in private practice with Davis Wright Tremaine in the national firm's Seattle, Washington, office.
Locke would be Obama's third choice to be commerce secretary. His most recent pick, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, cited "irresolvable conflicts" with the administration over the economic recovery bill when he withdrew his name from consideration on February 12.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson bowed out on January 5, citing the distraction of a federal investigation into ties to a company that has done business with his state. Democratic officials told CNN the investigation involves a California company that won municipal bond business in New Mexico after contributing money to various Richardson causes.
Richardson denies any wrongdoing.
Another Obama nominee - former Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, who was nominated to be secretary of health and human services - withdrew on February 3 after controversy erupted over his tax records and questions over his work in a field that some consider lobbying.
The former Senate majority leader apologized for a series of errors that included failing to report $15,000 in charitable donations, unreported car service and more than $80,000 in unreported income from consulting. He filed amended tax returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest for 2005-2007.
- CNN's Ed Henry and Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report.