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President Clinton plans to name Daryl Jones, a Florida state legislator and an Air Force Academy graduate, as secretary of the Air Force, the White House said Tuesday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Jones would be the first black to hold the highest civilian position in the Air Force. Army Secretary Togo West also is black.

Jones would replace Sheila Widnall, who is resigning effective Oct. 31 after four years in the job to resume teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A 1977 graduate of the Air Force Academy, Jones remained in the military until 1984 and continues to serve in the Air Force Reserve.

He received a law degree from the University of Miami in 1987 and was first elected to the Florida Legislature in 1990.

Earlier this month, the White House said that Clinton would stick by Jones despite a Washington Post report that he was forced to stop flying fighter jets as a reserve pilot in 1991 after a series of mishaps.

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