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Conn. Governor Picks New Dept. of Labor Commissioner

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has named Sharon Palmer, the longtime teachers' union president, his new commissioner of the Department of Labor.

Malloy, who announced the appointment on Tuesday, said he reached out to Palmer in recent weeks to fill the job held previously by former union president Glenn Marshall. He called her "a tireless advocate for working people from all walks of life."

The 68-year-old Palmer has been president of the Connecticut chapter of the American Federation of Teachers since 2003. The union represents 28,000 teachers and other employees in the state.

Palmer's union and Malloy were at odds at times during the last legislative session when lawmakers considered a massive education overhaul bill. Palmer said she and the governor gained a healthy respect for one another during that process.

Her nomination requires legislative approval.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.