Here are the top contenders to replace Ryan Zinke as interior secretary

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Ryan ZinkeInterior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee March 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. Zinke testified on the proposed FY2019 budget for the Interior Department.Win McNamee/Getty Images

  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is set to leave the Trump administration at the end of 2018.
  • David Bernhardt, who currently serves as Zinke's deputy, is reportedly expected to take over as acting head of the department in the new year.
  • But there's a long list of potential replacements for Zinke beyond Bernhardt.
  • Whoever takes over for Zinke will be in charge of an agency with 70,000 employees that oversees the federal lands that make up roughly 20% of the US and manages the country's natural resources.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is set to leave the Trump administration at the end of 2018, marking yet another departure from a tumultuous White House that seemingly has a revolving door.

Zinke is leaving amid mounting pressure from ethics inquiries into his dubious spending habits and political activities.

President Donald Trump has at times struggled to find replacements for top administration officials who've resigned, been fired, or reassigned. This has been evident recently in the administration's embarrassing struggle to attract a new chief of staff to fill John Kelly's shoes.

But the president appears to have a longer list of potential replacements for Zinke.

Read more: Embattled Interior Department secretary Ryan Zinke is stepping down

David Bernhardt, who currently serves as Zinke's deputy, is reportedly expected to take over as acting head of the department in the new year.

According to Bloomberg, which broke the news of Zinke's impending departure, other possible replacements include: former Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming; Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes; Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt; Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter; former Nevada Sen. Dean Heller; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state; and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Trump on Saturday morning tweeted the White House would announce Zinke's replacement in the coming week.

Read more: How the Trump administration looked at the end of 2017 and how it looks at the end of 2018

"Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years," Trump said. "Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation."

Whoever takes over for Zinke will be in charge of an agency with 70,000 employees that oversees the federal lands that make up roughly 20% of the US and manages the country's natural resources.

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David Bernhardt

David Bernhardt

David Bernhardt is Zinke's deputy. He's expected to take over as acting head of the Department of the Interior this year.

Bernhardt served as solicitor of the department under George W. Bush.

At private law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck he represented numerous energy companies, including Halliburton and Samson Resources.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

Utah attorney general Sean Reyes was the first ethnic minority to hold statewide office in Utah.

He's known for leading the charge to defend the state's same-sex marriage ban in 2013 despite a federal ruling that deemed it unconstitutional.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt

Republican and former Navy lieutenant Adam Laxalt is currently serving as attorney general of Nevada. He unsuccessfully ran for governor of the state in 2018.

Laxalt's campaign was mired in drama surrounding his interactions with police. The Reno Gazette Journal reported that Laxalt was previously arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer.

It was also reported that Laxalt was arrested for driving under the influence in 1997, and racked up eight traffic tickets while living in Virginia and Maryland.

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter

C.L. "Butch" Otter has been governor of Idaho since 2007. He's the longest-serving incumbent governer in the US.

Otter also has experience in Washington, having served as a US representative for Idaho's 1st congressional district from 2001 to 2007.

In the early 1990s, Otter was found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol while serving as the state's lieutenant governor.

Otter is set to retire as governor in January 2019.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller

Republican Sen. Dean Heller lost his bid for re-election in November after holding the seat since 2011.

Heller had reportedly angered some GOP voters after refusing to fully support the president's plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and criticized Trump's pardon of former Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has represented Washington state's 5th congressional district since 2005.

She's among the most influential Republican members of Congress, as the only woman in the House GOP leadership.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Republican Scott Walker has served as Wisconsin's governor since 2011.

Walker lost his bid for re-election in November, and has since engaged in a controversial effort to limit the powers of the incoming Democratic governor who defeated him.

The outgoing Wisconsin governor has dismissed the criticism he's faced over these moves as "hype and hysteria."

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