Ron Kirk Source: Trail Blazers Blog
News reports say that former Democratic Dallas Mayor (1995-2001) Ron Kirk may be under consideration for U.S. Trade Representative: Ex Dallas mayor mum on possible U.S. trade post.
Kirk was the first black mayor of Dallas from 1995 until 2001, when he launched an unsuccessful bid for the United States Senate.
He was an aide to late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen during the 1980s and followed Bentsen to the Treasury Department, when former President Bill Clinton tapped the Texas Democrat as his first Treasury secretary.
More recently Kirk has been a partner at Houston's Vinson and Elkins law firm. Here's his biography at Vinson and Elkins. He doesn't appear to have much international or trade experience.
Kirk ran for the U.S. Senate in 2002. John Nichols reports for The Nation that Kirk said he would have voted against Trade Promotion Authority earlier that year: A Congressman's Defeat Spells Trouble for Business Democrats:
Sawyer was not the first Democrat in recent years to discover those
consequences. After voting for a previous version of Fast Track,
California Rep. Matthew Martinez was defeated in a 2000 primary by
labor-backed challenger Hilda Solis. And Rep. Ken Bentsen, a Houston
Democrat who voted for the current Fast Track proposal when it came
before the House last December, lost a March Democratic primary for an
open U.S. Senate seat after his opponent, former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk,
said he would have opposed Fast Track.
In this CNN Situation Room transcript from March 3, 2008, Kirk KIRK refers to the need to change the atmosphere in Washington to bring about a "more responsible trade policy." ("I love you, Congresswoman. You're a great friend. But the reality is people care more about believing and knowing that we're never going to get a health care bill. We're never going to have a more responsible trade policy if we don't change the climate in Washington."). So he's no fan of the Bush Administration's approach to trade policy.
Edits 12-25-08; 12-16-08.