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Ken Salazar tapped to lead Clinton transition team

Former Colorado senator could position himself for cabinet role

DENVER – Former Colorado U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar has been tapped to lead Hillary Clinton’s transition planning team.

The Clinton campaign announced the transition team Tuesday, two weeks after paperwork was filed to formally establish the Clinton-Kaine Transition Project.

Salazar, a former Interior secretary, will serve as chairman.

“Once Hillary Clinton makes history by being elected as the nation’s first woman president, we want to have a turnkey operation in place so she can hit the ground running right away,” Salazar said in a statement.

The leadership team will oversee a Washington-based operation to prepare for a potential Clinton presidency. The Brooklyn-based campaign will stay focused on the election.

The Obama Administration will host initial meetings with representatives from presidential campaigns. Workspace administered by the General Services Administration will officially be available to both campaigns to use for planning.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump in May tapped New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lead a similar transition effort. The Trump campaign in Colorado called the Salazar announcement “yesterday’s news.”

“With Clinton-Salazar, Colorado will get more of the same failed policies and ethical baggage from career politicians that we can no longer afford,” said Patrick Davis, Trump Colorado director. “Coloradans don’t want a third Obama term, and will vote for change in November.”

Salazar has been an ardent supporter of Clinton and her running mate, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. He served in the Obama cabinet as secretary of the Interior.

The senior position sets Salazar up for a potential role in a Clinton Administration if she wins the November election. President Obama in 2008 appointed members of his transition team to serve in his administration.

Salazar will serve alongside four prominent co-chairpersons, including former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, president of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden, and Maggie Williams, director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

“A Clinton-Kaine administration will build on the progress we’ve made under President Obama, and tackle a new set of challenges both at home and abroad,” Salazar said. “This transition team will undertake the preparations necessary to ensure our next president has the resources and staff to carry out this all-important work.”