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Julián Castro is Obama's Pick to Head HUD

Erika Rich/BDP
Mayor Julian Castro gave the keynote address at the LBJ School's graduation this weekend.

Julián Castro will be President Obama's next secretary of housing and urban development, sources close to the San Antonio mayor said Saturday. 

The New York Times confirmed the move to HUD on Saturday, hours after the San Antonio Express-News reported that the 39-year-old was being considered for a position in the president's cabinet.

The sources said Castro, who had previously been considered for transportation secretary but chose to stay in San Antonio, was excited about the HUD post because he felt it fit better with his experience and interests. Urban development has been a pet issue of the mayor's in San Antonio. 

One source said the Obama administration kept tight reins on the vetting process because there were multiple moves involved in the cabinet reshuffling. The Times reported that the current HUD secretary, Shaun Donovan, would be nominated to head the Office of Management and Budget, replacing Sylvia Burwell, who has been nominated to as the new secretary of Health and Human Services.

Castro would be entering a presidential administration in the second half of a second term — not the ideal time to accomplish an ambitious agenda, sources said. The prospect of Republican control of both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate furthers complicates matters. But Castro has been mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate should former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton run for and win the Democratic nomination in 2016, and D.C. experience could enhance his resume. An alternate scenario that is the source of speculation in Texas is a 2018 bid for governor; how Castro's closer association with an unpopular president would play in that case remains to be seen.

Castro rose to national prominence in 2012 when he was selected to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention — just three years after jokingly being mistaken for a White House intern by President Obama. 

One upside to a D.C. move for Castro: His identical twin, Joaquin Castro, is already there, representing San Antonio in Congress.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Emily Ramshaw investigates state agencies and covers social services for KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune. Previously, she spent six years reporting for The Dallas Morning News, first in Dallas, then in Austin. In April 2009 she was named Star Reporter of the Year by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the Headliners Foundation of Texas. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, she received a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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