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2 women interviewed for attorney general


WASHINGTON -- President Clinton is pressing his search for a woman to become U.S. attorney general with at least two candidates coming here for interviews.

"They're still looking for a woman," one source familiar with the process said yesterday. "After what's happened, they feel a compulsion to name a woman attorney general."

Sources said that Janet Reno, 54, the Dade County, Fla., state attorney, and Mary Jo White, 45, the interim U.S. attorney for New York's eastern district, met with administration officials yesterday, but it was unclear whether Mr. Clinton had interviewed them personally.

Ms. Reno has been Dade County's chief prosecutor for the past 15 years. Known for her work in civil rights cases, and fighting child abuse and public corruption, Ms. Reno is single with no children and is known to have the support of Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman, who is close to first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

A 1974 graduate of Columbia University School of Law, Ms. White was a federal prosecutor in New York City for 3 1/2 years before going into private practice for 11 years. She and her husband, corporate lawyer John White, have a young son.

The sources said that as many as four other women are under consideration. Among the names most prominently mentioned are former Virginia Attorney General Mary Sue Terry, Nebraska Court of Appeals Judge Lindsey Miller-Lerman and Boston federal judge Rya Zobel.

White House sources are saying that Mr. Clinton's search could stretch into next week. His first nominee, Zoe Baird, withdrew her nomination after public outcry over her illegal hiring of two undocumented workers as household help.

U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood of New York withdrew under pressure after administration officials discovered that her baby sitter was an undocumented worker.

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