Locke led the state of Washington from 1996 through 2004, and is the first Chinese American to serve as a governor. He and Republican Bobby Jindal of Louisiana are the only Asian American governors outside of Hawaii.*
Locke was briefly entangled in the political contribution scandal that rocked the Clinton administration in the mid-1990s. He denied any wrongdoing and returned suspect political contributions, including $750 from John Huang, the central figure in the controversy over foreign contributions funneled to former President Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign.
Hopefully that history won't derail Locke. This is Obama's third try at getting a commerce secretary after Bill Richardson pulled out over possible political shenanigans and Senator Judd Gregg dropped because he didn't see eye-to-eye with the president.
Locke seems to be a political centrist so he's in line with how Obama wants to run things and solidifies the president's commitment to having a diverse team.
I'm writing this from down in California. Anyone up in Washington have any views on Locke? Was he an effective governor?
*CORRECTION: I originally said Locke was only Asian American governor outside of Hawaii.