By  on December 18, 2008

WASHINGTON — The search is on again for President-elect Barack Obama’s trade chief after the leading contender, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D., Calif.), took his name out of the running on Tuesday.

Ron Kirk, a former mayor of Dallas, and Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman from Tennessee, are two names that have surfaced in the past 48 hours as leading candidates for the cabinet-level post, according to news reports and industry lobbyists.

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