Cooper names Cabinet members for commerce, gov’t operations

Cooper on Thursday named Machelle Sanders as his administration secretary and Tony Copeland to head the Commerce Department.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has chosen a business recruiter under a previous Democratic governor as his commerce secretary and a former biotech executive to lead the agency that oversees government operations and buildings.

Cooper on Thursday named Tony Copeland to head the Commerce Department and Machelle Sanders as his administration secretary.

Copeland was assistant commerce secretary in Gov. Mike Easley’s administration and previously led the Raleigh-based telecommunications company called BTI. Sanders most recently worked for Biogen in Research Triangle Park.

Copeland’s challenges include luring businesses that shied away recently because of a law limiting LGBT rights known as House Bill 2.

The governor has now named five Cabinet secretaries. A new state law says they’re subject to Senate confirmation. Cooper has sued challenging that requirement.

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