WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., may be on the short list to succeed outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.
Zoellick is slated to replace outgoing Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who quit shortly after former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced his resignation. Zoellick was picked to fill the spot by Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice.
Kolbe "has been touted by trade leaders as a leading candidate to replace" Zoellick, the Arizona Republic reported recently. Kolbe, who has a lot of experience in international trade policy matters, has deferred to the White House to comment on the matter.
If Kolbe -- who has served 11 terms -- is chosen, there will be plenty of potential candidates in line for his seat. The Tucson Citizen reports that "talk of the Tucson Republican potentially leaving Congress to become U.S. trade representative would likely flush out a covey of candidates."
Kolbe's Democratic contender in the 2004 election, Eva Bacal, said, "I wouldn't be surprised if everybody we ever met or heard of runs," if Kolbe is chosen, the Citizen said.