UPDATE: Mabus' Navy nomination moves to full US Senate

JACKSON – Former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus is one step closer to becoming secretary of the U.S. Navy.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Thursday to recommend that the full Senate confirm the 60-year-old to the Navy’s top civilian job. The full Senate could vote next week.

A spokesman for the committee’s chairman, Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, says the committee recommended Mabus on a voice vote.

Mabus served in the Navy from 1970-72 as a surface warfare officer. The Democrat was Mississippi governor from 1988-92. He was U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1994-96 under President Bill Clinton.

During 2008, Mabus campaigned extensively for Democrat Barack Obama. Now president, Obama nominated Mabus for the Navy post in late March.

The Associated Press