DENVER (AP) – Former U.S. Rep. John Salazar is a step closer to taking charge of the state Department of Agriculture.

A Senate committee unanimously approved Salazar’s appointment in a brief confirmation hearing Wednesday. Salazar’s confirmation now goes to the full Senate, where the potato farmer from Manassa is likewise expected to coast to approval.

A separate Senate committee also gave unanimous approval to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s choice to run the Department of Human Services, Reginald Bicha.

And the full Senate cleared Hickenlooper’s most divisive pick, former AFL-CIO official Ellen Golombek to the Department of Labor and Employment. That vote was 21-14, with most Republicans opposed and all Democrats in favor.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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