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2 California Nominees for Envoy Posts Unconfirmed

October 23, 1998| From a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The Senate left town this week without confirming two ambassadorial nominees from California to posts in Micronesia and Cambodia.

Left off a last-minute confirmation list approved Wednesday were five-term state Sen. Diane Watson of Los Angeles and Kent M. Wiedemann of San Mateo.

Watson, forced to give up her seat in Sacramento at the end of this year because of term limits, appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sept. 25. But her nomination as envoy to Micronesia stalled when an unidentified senator placed a hold on her name without explanation. Word from some Senate sources was that Watson, the first African American elected to the state Senate in 1978, was considered too liberal.

In Wiedemann's case, disagreement emerged over whether the United States ought to send another ambassador to Cambodia. His nomination was pulled until the matter could be resolved.

Also left off the list was James Hormel, a gay philanthropist from San Francisco, who had been nominated to be ambassador to Luxembourg. Among the 20 nominees who won nomination were two Californians: James V. Ledesma as ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and George Mu as envoy to the Ivory Coast.

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