Donald Trump has narrowed his search for energy secretary to four people, with former Texas Governor Rick Perry the leading candidate.
People familiar with the president-elect’s selection process said two Democratic senators from energy-producing states — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — are also in the mix, along with Ray Washburne, a Dallas investor and former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
If Trump picks any of the four he’ll break with recent tradition of putting scientists at the top of the Energy Department. Among other things, the agency is responsible for policies on the safe handling of nuclear material and on emerging energy technologies.
Trump met with Perry and Washburne while attending the Army-Navy football game in Baltimore on Saturday. It was at least the second time he’d spoken to the men for potential roles in the new administration. Trump interviewed Heitkamp at Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 2, and is scheduled to meet with Manchin on Monday.