November 20, 2008 / 6:29 PM / 11 years ago

Pritzker says not candidate for Commerce slot

Penny Pritzker in an undated photo. Pritzker has told President-elect Barack Obama's team she does not want to serve as his commerce secretary, the Chicago Tribune reported on its website on Thursday. REUTERS/Hyatt Corp./Handout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker said on Thursday she was not a candidate to serve as commerce secretary in President-Barack Obama’s administration.

“Speculation has grown that I am a candidate for Secretary of Commerce. I am not. I think I can best serve our nation in my current capacity: building businesses, creating jobs and working to strengthen our economy,” Pritzker said in a statement.

CNN had reported on Wednesday that Pritzker, a billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune and a close Obama ally, was his pick for commerce but later media reports said she feared her business dealings could complicate the confirmation process.

Democratic officials earlier confirmed that Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano was under consideration to become secretary of homeland security in the Obama administration.

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