WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama today named Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) to be secretary of the interior and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to be secretary of agriculture.
Obama said Salzar, who has been in the Senate for four years, "will bring to the Department of the Interior an abiding commitment to this land we love. His family has farmed and ranched the same land in Colorado for five generations."
Obama said Vilsack, who ran the Hawkeye State for 8 years, "led with vision, promoting biotech to strengthen our farmers and fostering an agricultural economy of the future that not only grows the food we eat, but the energy we use."
Vilsack briefly sought the Democratic nomination for president but dropped out and endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Obama has named four former rivals to key posts in his administration. In addition to Vilsack and Clinton, who is the secretary of state-designate, that group includes in Commerce Secretary-designate Bill Richardson and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden.
Salazar's selection creates a vacancy in the U.S. Senate which will be filled by an appointee named by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat.