WASHINGTON — Representative Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio and former Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are said to be contenders to serve as the next US Secretary of Agriculture.

Ms. Fudge, who is chair of the Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations, has the support of Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, according to The New York Times.

Mr. Clyburn’s endorsement has been credited with giving President-elect Joe Biden’s candidacy a major boost during the primaries earlier this year.

Former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also is said to be under consideration for the post. Mr. Vilsack led the USDA throughout the presidential administration of Barack Obama.