Native son tapped for U.S. post

Son of late Rock Hill mayor is undersecretary of energy nominee

As a boy growing up on Gladstone Street near downtown Rock Hill, Bud Albright rarely joined in the mischief orchestrated by his fellow youngsters.

"When the other children would do things, he wouldn't join them," recalls his mother, Sophie Albright. "He said his daddy was in politics and he couldn't do anything that would give a bad impression."

Some four decades later, the son of former Rock Hill Mayor C.H. "Icky" Albright has parlayed that same sense of loyalty into a fast-rising Washington career.

Albright stands in line for the No. 3 post at the U.S. Department of Energy after President Bush nominated him this year. The position, undersecretary of energy, requires confirmation by the Democratic-led U.S. Senate. His nomination hearing will be July 12 in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

It's a long way from Gladstone Street, but the latest step in an ascension through the Bush administration's ranks.

Ned Albright, who owns Albright Realty, remembers his little brother as the guy most knew as "Buddy."

"He didn't get in trouble like I did," Ned Albright recalled. "Maybe my parents were a little stricter. They might've learned all the tricks by then."

Bud Albright could have followed his older brother into real estate but instead chose law school. He joined the Energy and Commerce Committee in March 2004 as staff director, coming from a post as vice president for federal affairs at Reliant Energy's Washington office.

Before that role, he served as deputy associate attorney general in the Justice Department's civil division. His Capitol Hill experience includes work as associate counsel of the Senate Select Committee investigating the Iran-Contra incident.

From 1981 to 1986, Albright prosecuted criminal cases as an assistant U.S. attorney in Virginia. While attending law school he also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee as a legislative aide to the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond.

Albright, his wife, Ginger, and their two children live in McLean, Va.

The family planned to spend this weekend in Rock Hill to help Ned Albright celebrate his 69th birthday. But he couldn't take questions because the White House requires media outlets to apply in writing to interview nominees.