Attorney General Nominee Wins GOP Endorsements

WASHINGTON (AP) -

Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch won two key Republican endorsements Thursday en route to likely confirmation as the first black woman in the nation’s top law enforcement job.

“I believe she’s not only qualified but exceptionally well-qualified and a very good person, to boot,” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, declared from the dais on the second day of Lynch’s confirmation hearing to replace Eric Holder.

Another committee Republican, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, said later he, too, intended to back Lynch. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he was inclined to do the same.

That seemed to guarantee Lynch’s approval by the Judiciary Committee in coming weeks, since she needs only two Republican votes on the panel if all Democrats back her.

From there, her nomination would move to the full Senate, where she also is likely to win approval.

Lynch, 55, the top federal prosecutor since 2010 for parts of New York City and Long Island, promised senators a fresh start from Holder, who has clashed repeatedly with congressional Republicans during his six years in the job.