Citing senior White House officials, The Washington Post reported Monday that Locke is likely to be Obama's third choice to run the Commerce Department.
Obama's first choice, New Mexico Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, pulled out amid reports political allies of his were being investigated for alleged pay-to-play politics. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., withdrew his nomination to run the department after concluding that he could not support Obama's policies.
Locke was elected in 1995 as the first American of Chinese descent to serve as a governor. He served two terms from 1996-2004.
He supported former Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 but threw his support behind Obama after Clinton dropped out of the race.