Shays seeks appointment

Less than a week after Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States, one Connecticut Republican — who lost his congressional race last Tuesday — is making a public ploy for a seat in the next administration.

Rep. Chris Shays, who lost his bid for a 12th term representing Connecticut’s fourth congressional district to Democrat Jim Himes, is the latest in a stream of politicians vying for appointment.

On Friday, Politico.com reported Shays saying in an interview with MSNBC that he would like a post in the Obama-Biden administration.

“I think [Obama]’s very interested in the Peace Corps,” he said. “So that would be one opportunity I would certainly want to look at.”

Both Shays and his wife Betsi volunteered with the Peace Corps in Fiji from 1968 to 1970.

After his loss to Himes — a former Goldman Sachs employee and nonprofit executive — Shays told the Connecticut Post that he would not seek another elected office.

“I don’t see myself running for any office,” he said Thursday. “I definitely do not see myself running for Congress again.”

But prospects are looking good for the moderate Republican. John Podesta, Obama’s transition chief, said on Fox News Sunday that he is looking to build a diverse administration. To reflect the broad appeal he had amongst voters across the political spectrum, Obama is expected to be bipartisan in his administration appointments.

Among Republicans mentioned for possible posts is Sen. Chuck Hagel, who did not endorse John McCain’s candidacy and is now retiring from the Senate. He is often suggested as a candidate to lead either the State or Defense departments.

Prior to the election, Shays sparked a media firestorm when he told the told the News that he believed Obama would win. He was Sen. John McCain’s Connecticut campaign co-chair.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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