President Obama is considering tapping San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Castro’s elevation to the administration post would raise the profile of a 39-year-old mayor who, along with his twin brother, is considered an up-and-comer in the Democratic Party. Castro has been one of the most prominent Latino Democrats since he delivered a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and has been discussed as a possible vice presidential contender in 2016.
Castro’s nomination would likely be part of a Cabinet shuffle prompted by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ recent decision to step down. The White House has nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius. Current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who has held his job since 2009, is under consideration to lead OMB, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The White House would not comment on the personnel deliberations. The San Antonio Express-News first reported Saturday that Castro was being vetted for an administration post. A source with knowledge of the selection process, who was not authorized to discuss the matter on the record, would not comment on the timing of the decision.
Castro is serving his third term as mayor of the Texas city. His brother, Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro, was elected to Congress in 2012.
Castro would not be the first former San Antonio mayor to lead the housing department. Henry Cisneros led the city for eight years before President Bill Clinton named to him the top job at the department.
Castro’s nomination would come as the White House watches its best window for passing an immigration overhaul closing and is under pressure from activists to take action on its own.
Obama has ordered a review of deportation policies and has promised to make changes to make the system more “humane.” Activists are concerned the changes will be modest.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun