Representative Abby Finkenauer in contention for Biden's Labour secretary

Representative Abby Finkenauer was an early supporter of President-elect Joe Biden and campaigned for him during the Iowa caucuses. PHOTO: ABBY4IOWA/TWITTER

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Ms Abby Finkenauer, one of the youngest women in Congress, is among the contenders to become Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's Labour Secretary, according to three people familiar with the selection process.

Ms Finkenauer, 31, an Iowa congresswoman who is personally and politically close to Mr Biden, is among at least five names being considered for the Labour Secretary post, the people familiar with deliberations told Reuters.

The sources asked not to be named because they are not authorised to discuss Mr Biden's search process.

A spokesman for Mr Biden's transition declined to comment.

Ms Finkenauer entered the US House of Representatives two years ago - having just turned 30 - but lost re-election in her Republican-leaning district this November. Mr Biden is keen to have her play a role in his new administration and she is also being considered for other posts, the sources said.

Other names being considered for Labour Secretary, whose job includes overseeing federal employment law and workers' rights, are Boston mayor Marty Walsh, a former president of the Labourers' Union, which represents construction workers; Mr Andy Levin, a Democratic Michigan US congressman and former trade union organiser; and California Labour Secretary Julie Su.

Democratic US Senator Bernie Sanders, a progressive who has made fighting for workers' rights and against the excessive power of corporate America a centrepiece of his political career, has also been considered but an appointment of the sitting senator was not regarded as likely, according to another person familiar with the process.

Ms Finkenauer's grandfather, a former firefighter, introduced her to Mr Biden in 2007. Ms Finkenauer's father is a former union member and pipefitter-welder. She has made workers' issues a central part of her career, first as a member the Iowa state house and then in the US Congress.

Mr Biden campaigned for Ms Finkenauer when she successfully unseated Republican incumbent Rod Blum in the 2018 midterm congressional elections.

When Mr Biden announced his presidential run in 2019, Ms Finkenauer was an early supporter and campaigned for him during the Iowa caucuses.

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