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Jackson, Peirce said to lead short list of potential SEC nominees

Democrat Robert Jackson and Hester Peirce, a Republican, head the list of potential nominees to the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to three people familiar with the matter.

There is no certainty that either Jackson or Peirce will be on the final list of nominations, these people said. The timing for when President Donald Trump might submit the nominations to the Senate is also unclear, they added.

Peirce declined to comment. Jackson did not respond to messages left by phone and email.

Earlier this year, the Senate confirmed former Sullivan & Cromwell partner Jay Clayton as SEC chairman, replacing Mary Jo White, who retired in January. Clayton, who is registered as an independent, is joined on the commission by Republican Michael Piwowar and Democrat Kara Stein. Two seats are vacant.

Jackson, a Columbia University law school professor, served as an adviser to senior officials at the Treasury Department and in the office of the special master for TARP executive compensation before joining the faculty in 2010. He was also previously with corporate law firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and at Bear Stearns, the investment bank.

Peirce, who is now a senior research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, worked on the staff of Senator Richard Shelby, R-Ala., at the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. She was also a staff attorney at the SEC and served as counsel to Commissioner Paul Atkins. In addition, Peirce serves on the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee.

Peirce was nominated for a spot on the SEC in 2015 by President Barack Obama, along with Democrat Lisa Fairfax. Those nominations stalled, however, when Democratic senators voiced opposition to both candidates.

Under Senate rules, those nominations were sent back to the president, who in such cases must either resubmit the names or make new nominations.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump has moved slowly with nominations to government agencies. So far, 94 names have been sent to the Senate, of which 35 have been confirmed. Both numbers represent a small portion of the roughly 600 top positions that need Senate confirmation, the Washington Post reported.