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Bush advisor tapped for White House counsel

Alberto Gonzales
Bush describes Gonzales as a "distinguished lawyer"  

ATLANTA (CNN) -- President-elect George W. Bush turned to a long-time associate to fill the post of White House counsel, selecting Texas Supreme Court Justice Alberto R. Gonzales.

Bush appointed Gonzales to the bench in 1999. Prior to that, Gonzales was Texas secretary of state, where he served as Gov. Bush's senior advisor, chief elections officer and lead liaison on Mexico.

Gonzales spent three years on Gov. Bush's staff as general counsel. In 1996, he helped Bush avoid jury duty in a DUI case. Jury service could have forced Bush to disclose that he had pleaded guilty to drunken driving in Maine in 1976, instead, that fact came out just days before the presidential election.

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He argued that Bush could not serve on the jury because he might be called on to make a clemency decision in the case.

Gonzales is a Texas native, who was born in San Antonio and raised in Houston. He grew up in a two-bedroom house with seven siblings.

He has been honored in Texas for his for work in education, and for addressing the legal needs of the indigent. In 1999, the Hispanic National Bar Association named him Latino Lawyer of the Year by and he was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business.

Gonzales is a graduate of Rice University and Harvard Law School.



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