Source: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be tapped as HUD secretary
May 17th, 2014
02:29 PM ET
4 months ago

Source: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be tapped as HUD secretary

Updated 7:26 p.m., 5/17/2014

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama intends to nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be his next secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a government source said Saturday.

The 39-year old, three-term mayor first gained national recognition when he delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention - the first Hispanic to do so.

First elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2011 and 2013, Castro is the youngest mayor of a major American city. He has been widely considered a rising leader in the Democratic Party and some even say a potential vice presidential candidate in 2016.

The current HUD secretary, Shaun Donovan, has been a member of the Obama administration from the start.

A Democratic official with knowledge of the cabinet selection process tells CNN that a plan is now in place for the President to nominate Castro for HUD secretary and tap Shaun Donovan to head the Office of Management and Budget. That position became open after Syliva Mathews Burwell was tapped to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

This Democratic official said the vetting process for Castro is still under way and that a formal announcement could be weeks away.

In response to questions Saturday, the White House said, "We have no personnel announcements at this time."

The intended Cabinet shuffle was first reported in The New York Times.

A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Castro began his political career at a young age. At 26, he was the youngest councilman ever elected in San Antonio.

Four years later, he ran for mayor, but lost to retired judge and fellow Democrat Phil Hardberger. Another four years, and Castro was in City Hall at the ripe old age of 34.

Castro was re-elected in 2011 with 82% of the vote and in 2013 with 67%.

He has spoken out in favor of same-sex marriage and of affirmative action, even telling The New York Times that it helped him get into Stanford.

Castro has built a reputation as "a youthful and dynamic leader here in town," Walter Wilson, assistant professor of political science at the University of Texas-San Antonio, told CNN in 2012.

Former San Antonio mayor and HUD secretary Henry Cisneros told CNN in an interview that Castro is a good fit for the job, noting the current mayor's record of expanding pre-K education, revitalizing San Antonio's downtown and shoring up the city's finances.

With an eye on 2016, Cisneros said the mayor could "learn the country" as HUD secretary, arguing, "It's a lot more likely he can get on that ticket from a national office than from a mayor's job."

"He can't stay a mayor forever without getting dinged," Cisneros said, noting the Republican Party’s current dominance in Texas politics.

"He will grow into a national-caliber talent," Cisneros continued, saying Castro has the potential to one day become the nation's first Latino president.

Not everyone is a fan, though.

"He's a tax-and-spend liberal. He does not represent all Hispanics, we're not all the same," George Rodriguez, president of the tea party in San Antonio, said in 2012.

Castro is the grandson of Mexican immigrants. His grandmother came to Texas from Mexico as an orphan at the age of 6. She taught herself to read and write in Spanish, eventually finding work in San Antonio as a maid and a cook.

His twin brother, Joaquin Castro, who introduced him at the DNC in 2012, is representing San Antonio in the House of Representatives.

–CNN's Conor Finnegan, Sarah Aarthun, Ed Lavandera and Mariano Castillo contributed to this report.


Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Nameobamaindonesian

    Anyone else notice the obamas are racist against white people. Its hilarious so obvious

    May 17, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. lagergeld

    More handing out of racial spoils.

    May 17, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    In the foot steps of Henry Cisneros, who is gong to pay his mistress?

    May 17, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. CW hamm

    Following in the foot steps of Henry Cisneros, who will pay his mistress?

    May 17, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Jack

    Let the Cartels into the White House good idea Obama.

    May 17, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. MaryM

    Mayor Julian Castro is another rising star in the Democratic Party. He and Cory Booker are on their way Up.

    May 17, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. wendy

    Yes!!! He's a FABULOUS choice. Hopefully he will go on and become president of the US one day!!!!!

    May 17, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. T.Duffey

    another "qualified" pick to pander for the hispanic vote

    May 17, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Hoagie58

    Can't be any less qualified than his appointee for DOT, right? At least San Antonio doesn't have any looming "National Convention" scandals.

    May 17, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. BillV

    I hope he has some private sector experience and not just a academic and politician. They know how to spend other peoples monies and they do not know how to run any department successfully.

    May 17, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Imagine That

    I'm not so sure this is a good move. Not because I think Castro isn't up to the job, but because I'd like to see him running for higher state office or for the Senate. (His brother is already in the house, and I'm confident in assuming they both live in the same district.

    May 17, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. TBenji68

    Sure sounds good, Wendy Davis will serve two Terms as Texas Governor. Then Castro can run, his Brother will run for the U.S. Senate and win!

    May 17, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. i know everything

    future President Castro

    May 17, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Solomon Walker

    Absolutely meaningless to me. What does HUD do that is actually putting homeless persons into a home? Have never seen it happen in my lifetime for anyone that applied to that agency. So, when you find someone that has – do let me know, will you?

    Let's keep hiring for positions that do no work, people.

    America does that better than any other nation.

    May 17, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Great pic, now bring his twin onboard.

    May 17, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. scott

    Their mother, Rosie helped found a radical, anti-white, socialist Chicano party called La Raza Unida
    As a student at Stanford Castro penned an essay for Writing for Change: A Community Reader (1994) in which he praised his mother’s accomplishments and cited them as an inspiration for his own future political involvement

    his mother founded a racist party........this is a fact....he follows her teachings..
    how can we have someone like this in Washington

    May 17, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. mrtexas

    No, No. No can do. Mr. Castro needs to stay in South Texas. Taking him away for what? HUD isn't a big job. Mr. Castro does better for San Antonio and South Texans if he stays here at home. Well, that is his decision. but he might as well take one of those out of the country jobs...in South America, like the other Governors From Colorado and Arizona do. Get them out of the way and we don't have to deal with experienced, smart politician that are not going to play the man's Game.

    May 17, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. wznm

    He really going to get the GOP to show their true colors on this one!

    May 17, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. Jig

    hmmm... he couldn't find a black person for the position?

    May 17, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. NO OMG

    NO OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    May 17, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    PAY to PLAY comes to The Republic of Texas

    WE
    Have "evolved"

    WE
    Are now SMARTER than God Himself

    FORWARD
    ALL of america MUST be like DETROIT !!!
    Yes WE Can

    May 17, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Tom

    When was the last time Obama nominated someone based on his or her merits as opposed to their race or ethnicity.

    May 17, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Steve

    Great guy!

    May 17, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. political observor

    more Latino to push the immigration reform?

    May 17, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. DH

    Now let's watch the Repubs destroy yet another person. Of course they will be adding another nail in their coffin..... GOOD!!!!

    May 17, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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