September 25, 2014 / 11:54 PM / 5 years ago

Possible successors to U.S. Attorney General Holder

(Reuters) - Attorney General Eric Holder will announce his resignation on Thursday after nearly six years as the top U.S. law enforcement official.

Here is a look at some possible candidates to replace him.

* Donald Verrilli, 57, serves as the U.S. solicitor general. In that role he is the Obama administration’s top representative before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has held the position since June 2011. His most high-profile victory before the high court was the landmark 2012 ruling upholding President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. Verrilli earlier spent years as a partner at the Jenner & Block law firm.

* Deval Patrick, 58, is the two-term Democratic governor of Massachusetts. President Barack Obama has expressed his admiration for Patrick, saying in March “he could be very successful at the federal level” and would make “a great president or vice president.” He is the first black governor of his state. His term as governor ends in January 2015. He served as assistant attorney general for civil rights under President Bill Clinton. He gave speeches at the 2008 and 2012 Democratic national conventions that boosted his profile.

* Kamala Harris, 49, is the Democratic attorney general of California. She has held the top law enforcement job in the most populous U.S. state since being elected in 2011. Previously she served two terms as the district attorney in San Francisco. She gained national attention for taking a hard stance in settlement negotiations with banks over illegal foreclosures. She also backed the successful legal effort to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Obama apologized in 2013 after calling her “the best-looking attorney general in the country” in remarks at a fundraiser.

* Kathryn Ruemmler, 43, served as President Barack Obama’s top legal advisor for three years. She left her position as White House counsel in April to rejoin the Latham & Watkins law firm, where she had worked in between government jobs. In addition to serving in the White House under both Obama and President Bill Clinton, she has also worked as a federal prosecutor. She was part of the team that successfully convicted former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.

* Preet Bharara, 45, has served for five years as Manhattan U.S. attorney, one of the most prominent federal prosecutor posts. In that job, Bharara has overseen high-profile prosecutions of insider trading, terrorism and political corruption. His office secured the terrorism conviction of Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and investigated Steven A. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund for insider trading, resulting in a $1.2 billion plea deal. Formerly chief counsel to Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the Indian-American Bharara has said he does not have aspirations for elected office.

* Loretta Lynch, 55, has served two stints as Brooklyn U.S. attorney, first from 1999 to 2001 and then again starting in 2010. She is known for keeping a low profile, and her office earlier this year brought a tax evasion case against Republican U.S. Representative Michael Grimm of Staten Island. Lynch has overseen a $1 billion mortgage-fraud settlement with Bank of America, terrorism cases including the conviction of a man for a plot to bomb New York City subways, and money-laundering charges against HSBC that resulted in a $1.9 billion fine. Since 2013, she has chaired a committee of U.S. attorneys who provide policy advice to Holder.

* Thomas Perrelli, 48, served for three years under Obama as associate attorney general, the No. 3 post at the Justice Department before rejoining the first Jenner & Block law firm in 2012. He led the U.S. government’s efforts to negotiate a $25 billion settlement to resolve claims against financial institutions for servicing of mortgages and negotiated the creation of a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the Deepwater Horizon 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Compiled by Lawrence Hurley, Nate Raymond, Jessica Dye and Will Dunham; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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