WASHINGTON – If Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) has his way, former General Colin Powell will have a close family connection to the next Republican FCC Commissioner.

McCain has endorsed and is now lobbying the Clinton administration to nominate Powell’s son Michael for the currently vacant Republican seat at the FCC. “(Michael Powell) is McCain’s man,” confirmed an aide for the senator Monday.

Powell, 33, is currently working at the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, where he is the chief of staff. Until last December, Powell worked at the Los Angeles-based law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. Powell did not return calls Monday, and Justice Dept. officials refused to comment on speculation that he would be tapped for the FCC.

McCain’s spokesman said Powell is “intrigued by the opportunity,” adding, “As to where it goes from here, that is still a little bit up in the air.”

McCain’s vocal support for Powell comes just days after FCC staffer Regina Keeney withdrew her own name from consideration for the nomination, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family. -Christopher Stern

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