Three high-ranking women in the Bush administration and a House member are among the names being mentioned as possible successors to Elizabeth Dole as secretary of labor.
Dole, 54, became the first of President Bush's Cabinet secretaries to depart when she resigned Wednesday to become president of the American Red Cross.The White House said it had not settled on a possible nominee or talked to any of the likely contenders.
"We continue to look at candidates and consider people and search for the best person," said presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater.
One person frequently mentioned is Rep. Lynn Martin, R-Ill., should she lose her bid to oust Democratic Sen. Paul Simon in the Nov. 6 election.
Asked if Martin was on the list, Fitzwater replied, "Everybody's on the list."
Other possible contenders that consistently come up are: Constance Newman, head of the Office of Personnel Management; Elaine Chao, who holds the No. 2 job at the Transportation Department; and Constance Horner, undersecretary of health and human services. Horner also served as OPM director under former President Ronald Reagan.
Dole denied she had been frozen out by White House policymakers. Aides and union leaders have said she had little clout at Bush's Cabinet table, and many labor policy decisions were left to presidential chief of staff John Sununu.
"I can't imagine who was saying this. Most definitely, I feel very much a part of the circle that's making the decisions."