Gregg Says He Will Accept Commerce Secretary Nod If Republican Is Appointed to His Senate Seat

By Laurie Kellman | February 2, 2009 | 4:36 PM EST
Washington (AP) - New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg says he would only agree to become President Barack Obama's commerce secretary if his home state governor appoints a Republican to serve out the rest of his term.
In a statement Monday, Gregg says Senate leaders of both parties understand his condition. New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch confirmed that understanding in his own statement Monday.
An emerging deal would allow Republicans to keep the seat for two years and deny Democrats a filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators. Democrats, meanwhile, appear to stand a better chance of flipping the seat into their ranks in 2010 than if Gregg stayed and ran for a fourth term.
Gregg is Obama's second choice for the Cabinet position. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew from consideration because of a grand jury probe into state contracts.
Gregg Issues Conditions for Joining Obama Cabinet