Biden picks Rhode Island governor to head Commerce, Boston mayor for Labor: sources

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden will choose Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as his Commerce Department secretary and Boston mayor and former union official Marty Walsh as his Labor secretary, people familiar with the choices told Reuters on Thursday.

The two Democrats will head sprawling agencies that will shape Biden’s agenda on climate change, technology, investment and workforce policies and labor rules.

The announcements are likely to be made together with other Cabinet positions on Friday, CNN said.

Raimondo has pushed for a higher minimum wage in her state, to $15 an hour, but also is reluctant to raise taxes on big earners there state to cover a deficit, she said in a recent interview with the Providence Journal.

Also in the interview, she said she would push for state-operated stores to sell marijuana.

She is a native of Rhode Island and its first woman governor. She is a graduate of Harvard, where she studied economics, according to her official biography.

The Commerce Department is the official face of American business overseas but also runs such key federal departments as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Biden also will choose Isabel Guzman, a California state economic development official and small business advocate, to lead the Small Business Administration, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Guzman served as deputy chief of staff at the SBA for nearly three years during the Obama administration, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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