WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Dick Thornburgh will resign this summer to seek the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Republican John Heinz of Pennsylvania, who was killed in a plane crash April 4.
President Bush made the announcement at a Cabinet meeting yesterday, confirming Thornburgh's long-rumored candidacy.
"We are going to miss his wisdom and his support," Bush said. "And Dick, I just can't tell you what a fantastic job in my view you have done."
Thornburgh, a former two-term governor of Pennsylvania, was appointed attorney general in 1988, in the waning days of the Reagan administration, then was asked to remain on as one of the original members of Bush's Cabinet.
The decision on Thornburgh's successor will be made by Bush and his advisers. At least nine names were being bandied about yesterday. Among them were Missouri Gov. John Ashcroft, U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills, and Arnold Burns, a former deputy attorney general.