President Barack Obama has nominated an out lesbian, Jenny Durkan, for the position of US Attorney for the Western District of Washington.

If appointed, she will replace Jeff Sullivan, a Bush administration appointee.

Durkan, 50, lives with her partner and two sons. She has her own law practice in Seattle and has also served as counsel to Governor Christine Gregoire.

She was recommended by senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell in February and is one of six people nominated by President Obama for a US Attorney position.

Her appointment is now subject to US Senate confirmation. If her nomination is successful, Durkan will lead the Justice Department in Western Washington, including prosecuting criminal and civil cases and defending federal agencies in court.

In a statement, she said: “It is an incredible honour to be nominated for this office and the opportunity to serve our state and country.”

It is not clear whether she will be the first openly gay US Attorney.