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Bush selects longtime aide as counsel

WASHINGTON -- President Bush yesterday named Harriet Miers, a longtime Texas associate, as White House counsel.

Miers succeeds Alberto Gonzales, nominated by Bush to be attorney general, said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

''Harriet Miers is a trusted adviser on whom I have long relied for straightforward advice," Bush said in a statement.

''Harriet has the keen judgment and discerning intellect necessary to be an outstanding counsel," the president said. ''She is a talented lawyer whose great integrity, legal scholarship, and grace have long marked her as one of America's finest lawyers."

Formerly Bush's personal lawyer in Texas, Miers came with the president to the White House as his staff secretary, the person in charge of all the paperwork that crosses the president's desk. Miers was promoted to deputy chief of staff in June 2003.

From 1995 to 2000, she was chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission. In 1992, she became the first woman president of the Texas State Bar. She has been president of the Dallas Bar Association as well, becoming in 1985 the first woman in that post.

Miers earned undergraduate and law degrees from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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