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WOOD, if he could

Pat Wood may be joining the FCC after all. The Texas Public Utility Commission chairman was once thought a candidate to run the agency, but his chances dimmed after it became apparent Commissioner Michael Powell would get first crack. Then Wood appeared to be a candidate to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but his prospects there also dimmed as another incumbent Republican, FERC Commissioner Curt Herbert, became front runner.

Although Wood, who has close ties to incoming-President Bush, is said to be angling to run some other agency, he is also leading the list to take the seat that will open when current FCC Chairman William Kennard leaves at the end of the Clinton administration. Said seat will go Republican.

Prospects are also surfacing for chief of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. They include Paul Misener, lobbyist; former aide to FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth, and former Intel lobbyist. Also in the mix is current NTIA chief Greg Rhode, a Democrat who could provide a smooth transition for the Bush team and get it points for inclusion. An even more surprising name being dropped is former Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Larry Pressler, who lost his reelection bid in 1998.