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The Washington Post reports that Penny Pritzker, the 255th wealthiest American, is in the running to be President Barack Obama’s next Commerce Secretary — and may have already topped the list.Pritzker, the CEO of PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group, is estimated to have a net worth in excess of $1.8 billion, accumulated in part through her inheritance.
To many, this pick may reek of patronage – Pritzker was national co-chair of Obama for America 2012 and bundled at least $500,000 for the President’s re-election campaign.
CNN notes that Pritzker was also a leading candidate for the position back in 2008, but took herself out of the running because of fears she wouldn’t be confirmed due to her past business dealings.
Superior Bank, in which her uncle held a majority stake and she served as chairman until 1994, failed in 2001 after the bank’s holdings of subprime mortgages exploded. The bank was ultimately taken over by the FDIC.
Pritzker would replace acting Secretary Rebecca Blank, who stepped in to fill the position after John Bryson resigned from the post following a series of hit-and-runs.
This Pritzker pick would continue the tradition of high-powered business executives, such as Bill Daley and Peter Peterson, stepping into this role.
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