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Obama nominates Pritzker for Cabinet post

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 1:09 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2013 11:44 p.m. CST

CHICAGO (AP) — A life-long Chicagoan from one of the city's most powerful families has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be his next U.S. Commerce secretary.

Penny Pritzker is a Hyatt hotel heiress, businesswoman and philanthropist. She's known Obama since the 1990s and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both of his presidential campaigns.

Obama announced the nomination Thursday at the White House.

If confirmed, Pritzker will be the wealthiest Cabinet member by far. Forbes estimates her net worth at $1.85 billion and ranks her the 277th richest American.

Pritzker recently resigned from the Chicago Board of Education as she was being vetted for the Commerce nomination.

The post has been vacant since former Secretary John Bryson resigned. He'd said he suffered a seizure that led to traffic collisions.

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