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Second TSA administrator candidate withdraws nomination

April 1, 2010

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Two days after his March 23 nomination hearing, retired Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding withdrew his nomination to be the next administrator of the Transportation Security Administration and assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Harding's withdrawal comes amid questions about his work as a defense contractor for U.S. government agencies in the intelligence and defense communities. During his nomination hearing, members of the Senate Science, Commerce and Transportation Committee questioned whether there were conflicts of interest with his past work as a defense contractor, and expressed dismay that TSA has gone without an administrator since Sept. 17, 2009, and was without a leader during the Christmas Day failed terrorist attack on Northwest Flight 253.

President Barack Obama announced Harding's nomination on March 8. Obama's first pick for TSA administrator, Erroll Southers, withdrew his nomination in January.



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