ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Eight candidates have been frequently named as the next Secretary of Agriculture.
Four of the prominent candidates are on the House Agriculture Committee with Congressman Rodney Davis. One is Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.
“Chellie is great,” says Davis. “She would bring a bi-partisan perspective from northeastern agriculture. They are really good people and they are folks that could easily walk into the job.”
Another is Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of northwestern Illinois.
“I think Cheri is probably the longest shot,” says Davis. “I think that district in a special election would go to a Republican like it almost did during this General election. Cheri, if she gave that seat up, that would tighten the majority even more so.”
Then there’s Cleveland Congresswoman Marcia Fudge.
“Marcia, she is a go-getter. She is an advocate for her constituents and for the issues that she cares about the most,” says Davis. “Her and I have worked together on numerous issues on the Ag Committee. We have butted heads on the House Administration committee. But I think she would be a tireless advocate for the nutrition side of the Secretary of Agriculture portfolio.
A prime candidate would be Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, who lost his re-election.
“Collin is somebody that I have worked together on bipartisan legislation with throughout my tenure in Congress,” says Davis. “I would anticipate that a guy like Collin is probably the frontrunner. I think he is somebody that could immediately step into the job.
“Collin is cantankerous and really pushes the issues that are important to him and his constituents and I’ve got to respect that.”