Pritzker rebuffs commerce post

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Penny Pritzker turned down the position of commerce secretary in the Obama administration.

"Penny Pritzker is a trusted adviser and valued friend to the President-elect, and played a critical role in his campaign," said a statement from Stephanie Cutter, a spokeswoman for President-elect Barack Obama. "She would be an enormous asset to an Obama administration given her experience in business and economic growth, but has decided that given her family and business commitments, she is not interested in serving at this time. She’ll continue to be a close economic advisor to the president-elect and his team."

In a separate statement reported by CNN, Pritzker, the Hyatt hotel billionairesse, said: "I think I can best serve my nation in my current capacity."

In its reporting, CNN suggested a factor was the Obama campaign’s arduous vetting process. The Pritzkers are among the biggest contributors to the Chicago Jewish community, and Penny Pritzker heads a number of charities in the city.

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