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Senate panel OKs RI governer's EDC nominee

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A Senate panel has endorsed Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee's nominee to head the state's economic development agency.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of the nomination of Marcel Valois for executive director of the Economic Development Corp. It would be his second stint in that role. He served in the 1990s under former Gov. Lincoln Almond.

The committee's endorsement sends the nomination to the full Senate for a vote, possibly as soon as later this week.

Valois is vice president of the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island and a former chief operating office and area vice president for Penske Automotive Group. He also served as an executive at the Blackstone Valley Development Foundation and director of planning and development for the city of Woonsocket.