Kurth Out Of FCC Running

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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.