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WASHINGTON-Three candidates are leading the pack among the potential NCUA Board nominees to fill the open seat currently occupied by NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar. Sources knowledgeable with the NCUA confirmation process have confirmed that two officials from within the credit union community and one housing regulator are heading up the pack to be the next member of the NCUA Board. Federal Housing Finance Board Director Timothy O’Neill, whose term with the FHFB has expired, is one of the viable candidates. Previously, O’Neill was a partner in the Washington law firm of O’Connor & Hannan. He has also held positions with Treasury, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania. The two candidates from the credit union community include Missouri Credit Union Association CEO Rosie Holub and Texas Credit Union League Vice President of Staff and Public Relations Troy Stang. Montauk Credit Union CEO Louis Jimenez had decided to withdraw his name from consideration. The source said that the search would be narrowed down to one candidate by year-end. The search is being expedited since Dollar has gone nearly a year over his term, taking that much time off the next board member’s term. Dollar’s term expired in April 2003. U.S. Department of Agriculture Acting Undersecretary for Rural Development Gil Gonzalez previously looked to be the next NCUA Board member, but withdrew his name from consideration. In related news, Gonzalez just recently made the jump up from deputy undersecretary for rural development to acting undersecretary, according to Congress Daily PM. USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced in early December that she would name Thomas Dorr, who had been serving as the undersecretary but failed to get the Senate confirmation, to the post of senior adviser for rural development.

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