President Donald Trump’s administration is considering severalpossible contenders as a quick replacement for Andy Puzder, who withdrew Wednesday as laborsecretary nominee amid controversy over his personal life andprivate sector background.

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Potential candidates, according to a White House official, areformer National Labor Relations Board members Peter Kirsanow and R.Alexander Acosta; Joseph Guzman, an assistant professor at MichiganState University; and Catherine Templeton, former head of the SouthCarolina labor department.

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Related: DOL files to delay fiduciary rule

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Puzder, a fast-food executive who had been scheduled for aSenate confirmation hearing Thursday, ran into trouble on CapitolHill over his admission that he employed an undocumentedhousekeeper. Also shadowing his nomination were divorce-courtproceedings that included a domestic-abuse allegation. Someconservatives, likewise, had questioned his pro-immigrationstance.

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In an e-mailed statement, Puzder said he had hoped to "putAmerica’s workers and businesses back on a path to sustainableprosperity" and bring "new thinking" to the job.

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Trump has already lost one senior member of his administration.He dismissed Mike Flynn as national security adviser on Mondaybecause the administration said he may have misled the presidentand vice president about his communications with a Russianenvoy.

Civil rights commission

Kirsanow, now a member of the U.S. Commission on CivilRights, met with Trump in November on labor issues. He would be thesecond African-American member of Trump’s cabinet. As a privateattorney, he represented the National Association of Manufacturersin a successful challenge to an Obama-era NLRB rule requiringemployers to display more information about employees’ unionrights.

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Acosta served as assistant attorney general for the Civil RightsDivision under President George W. Bush and was U.S. attorney forthe Southern District of Florida. Either Acosta or Guzman would bethe first Hispanic nominee for Trump’s cabinet.

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Guzman, who teaches labor relations at Michigan State, was amember of the Trump campaign’s National Hispanic Advisory Council.Trump summoned him for a meeting on Jan. 3, when he was workingthrough his original cabinet picks.

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Templeton, a lawyer known for anti-union work, served as SouthCarolina’s labor secretary and later led the state healthdepartment, appointed by Governor Nikki Haley. She said last fallshe intended to declare her candidacy for governor in SouthCarolina.

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Trump met Wednesday night with Acosta and Guzman; he meetsFriday with Templeton in South Carolina, the White House officialsaid.

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Related: Trump's pick to head OMB staunch opponent of Laborfiduciary rule

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At least six Republicans had said they weren’t ready to backPuzder and said they were waiting for his confirmation hearing. CNNreported earlier Wednesday that top Senate Republicans urged theWhite House to withdraw Puzder’s nomination because at least four,and as many as 12, GOP senators planned to vote againstconfirmation.

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In the 52-48 Senate, three Republican defections would havedoomed Puzder if all 48 Democrats voted to deny him.

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Trump’s Labor Pick Loves Burgers, Bikinis, and Free Markets

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Puzder is head of the fast-food conglomerate CKE RestaurantsInc. that includes Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. His withdrawal comesafter a week that saw party-line confirmations in the Senate and atie-breaking vote cast by Vice President Mike Pence to confirmEducation Secretary Betsy DeVos. That 51-50 tally was the firsttime a vice president ever broke a tie on a cabinet nomination.

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Puzder acknowledged early this month that he employed anundocumented immigrant as a housekeeper until learning of theworker’s immigration status. Senate Majority Leader MitchMcConnell, a Kentucky Republican, had said last week thatallegations of hiring undocumented workers have sunk other cabinetnominees, but not always.

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Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, said in aTwitter posting after Puzder announced his withdrawal that heinitially was "impressed" by Puzder’s vision for the LaborDepartment, but in recent recent days he told Republican leadersthat he wouldn’t support the nominee.

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"As revelations regarding paying employees in cash, illegalimmigration and comments regarding some of the American workforcecame to light, I developed serious concerns," Scott said in theposting. "I look forward to meeting with a new nominee."

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Opponents also seized on multiple news reports that Puzder hadbeen accused by Lisa Fierstein, his first wife, of domestic abuse.Puzder denied the allegations. Fierstein, in a Jan. 18 letter tolawmakers, said that she had made such allegations against Puzderbut later withdrew them, saying “Andy is not and was not abusive orviolent.”

Oprah Winfrey Show

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine -- one of those whoexpressed doubts about Puzder earlier this week -- said she hadviewed an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s talk show dealing withdomestic violence in which Fierstein appeared. "I am reviewing theother information that has come to light and I’m sure all of thishas been explored thoroughly," Collins said at the time.

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Puzder had agreed to divest an ownership stake worth as much as$50 million in his closely held fast-food company if he wasconfirmed as labor secretary, according to his federal financialdisclosure and ethics agreement.

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Democrats sharply criticized Puzder’s nomination, as MinorityLeader Chuck Schumer of New York called his withdrawala "victory" for workers.

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"Puzder should never have even been nominated to lead the LaborDepartment, and Senate Republicans clearly recognized this too,"Schumer said in a statement. "The fact that someone so anti-laborwas even nominated shows how far President Trump is from where hecampaigned."

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Puzder opposes efforts to raise the minimum wage. He also haswritten that legal immigration was an asset to the nation and thatit would be unworkable to deport the 11 million undocumented peoplein the U.S., as Trump promised repeatedly during his campaign.

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But he also said Trump’s proposals to build a border wall,stiffen enforcement and defund cities that provide sanctuary toundocumented immigrants were reasonable.

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Related: Doomsayers got it wrong on higher minimumwages

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Karl Frisch, executive director for Allied Progress, a laborgroup that fought Puzder’s nomination, said, "Working Americanshave a simple message to President Trump: we’re watching you andwe’ll hold you accountable.”

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