WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will wait until after Nov. 4 congressional elections to nominate a new U.S. attorney general, a White House official said on Tuesday.
The decision to delay allows Obama more time to pick a replacement for Attorney General Eric Holder and means the new nominee will not get mired in election-year politics in the final weeks of the congressional election campaign.
A delay in the announcement had been sought by some Senate Democrats who wanted to avoid a fresh controversy ahead of the elections.
Obama is considering a number of people with legal experience for the position, including former White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and U.S. Solicitor General Don Verrilli.
One factor Obama may consider in picking a new attorney general is whether the nominee can get confirmed during the forthcoming “lame duck” session of Congress, the period after the elections and before the new Congress takes over in January.
Holder, one of Obama’s closest allies, announced last month that he would step down but remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed. His nearly six-year term, marked by civil rights advances and frequent fights with Congress, made him one of the longest-serving U.S. attorneys generals.
Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Mohammad Zargham