State Governor / U.S. Senator
Judd Gregg is the Republican from New Hampshire who turned down President Barack Obama
's offer to become Secretary of Commerce. Gregg accepted Obama's nomination in February of 2009 but withdrew a few weeks later, saying "I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me." Gregg has a deep New England background: He went to Phillips Exeter Academy, then earned an undergraduate degree from Columbia University (1969) and a law degree from Boston University (1972). He also received an LL.M. -- an advanced law degree -- in tax law from Boston University in 1975. He went to work for the law firm of Sullivan, Gregg and Horton for a few years before plunging into politics. He was elected to Congress in 1980 and served four full terms before being elected governor of New Hampshire in 1988. He served two two-year terms in that job before his 1992 election to the U.S. Senate. He was reelected in 1998 and 2004, and returned to the Senate after withdrawing from consideration for Secretary of Commerce. Gregg has a reputation as a typical feisty New Hampshire conservative, a firm supporter of low taxes and small government but with an independent streak on social issues.