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The Journal Gazette

  • Kirsch

  • McKinney

Wednesday, October 04, 2017 2:40 pm

2 from Indiana confirmed in Trump administration

Journal Gazette

The U.S. Senate has confirmed two Indiana residents for positions in the Trump administration.

The Senate approved the nominations of Thomas Kirsch II for U.S. attorney for Indiana's Northern District and Ted McKinney for undersecretary of agriculture on Tuesday evening. 

Each confirmation was made by voice vote, which typically indicates unanimous support for a presidential nominee. President Donald Trump nominated Kirsch and McKinney for their respective jobs in July.

Schererville resident Kirsch has been a partner of the Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn LLP. From 2001 to 2008, he was an assistant U.S. attorney for Indiana's 32-county Northern District, which includes federal courts in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Lafayette and Hammond.

Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Todd Young, R-Ind., said Wednesday in a joint statement that Kirsch "is a well-qualified attorney who has garnered broad support from both sides of the aisle. He approaches the law thoughtfully and will bring a wealth of experience to this role." 

Kirsch replaces David Capp, an Obama administration appointment who resigned in March as the district's chief prosecutor.

McKinney, who grew up in Tipton, has been director of the Indiana Department of Agriculture since 2014. Trump nominated McKinney for undersecretary of  trade and foreign agricultural affairs, a new post at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement that McKinney will "wake up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets."

McKinney has worked for Elanco Animal Health, which is a division of Eli Lilly, and Dow AgroSciences.

Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced Wednesday that Melissa Rekeweg, the deputy director of the state agriculture department, has been named interim director of the agency.