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Kurth Out Of FCC Running

Christine Kurth, deputy staff director for the Senate Commerce Committee and Committee Chairman Ted Stevens' candidate for an FCC seat, has taken herself out of the running.

Kurth's husband is a telecommunications consultant and she cited the dilemma of either having to recuse herself from a number of matters before the commission or her husband's having to drop clients.

Stevens' office said in a statement that Kurth "remains committed to advancing the President’s communications agenda – just from a different seat at the table." She will continue as deputy staff director.

There are two seats opening up, one ex-Chairman Michael Powell's, the other that of Republican Kathleen Abernathy, who is ready to leave as soon as a replacement can be found.

Other candidates for the seat, some of whom have just been given new life, include Senior White House official Ruben Barrales; Texas utility regulator Rebecca Klein; Howard Waltzman, former staffer to Seantor Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), and Richard M. Russell, senior director for technology and telecommunications for the National Economic Council and point man on the Bush Administration's telecommunications policy.