Source: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be tapped as HUD secretary
May 17th, 2014
02:29 PM ET
8 years 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.

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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. 2_indy1600

    The 1200 SAT Castro brother? Say it isn't so, man! A score of 1200 would barely get you into a bad college when I was in school–you know, old school, where we did homework. The Castro Bro is a big no go. Do your favors for the Clintons some other way that doesn't include poor governance and a nod to the immigration LA RAZA crowd. These guys are losers, period. Nice looking though, huh?

    May 17, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Dave

    sounds qualified to me, smh...

    May 17, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. tellingitlikeitis

    The article makes sound like the Prez is moving staff around instead of hiring from the outside and replacing those who have left or move over to another position within the administration.

    I am sure Julian Castro ;will do well if he's appointed. He has the experience of knowing and overseeing the City of San Antonio's growth and the need for housing for the poor.

    May 17, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Spurz

    Mayor of the 7th largest city in the US. with a balanced budget during some tough times. Sounds like a winner.

    May 17, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. 2_indy1600

    Janet Murguia was in Bill Clinton's WH; she's the leader of NCLR (La Raza) to this day. Of course, Obama has Cecelia Munoz to advise him on promoting illegal immigration and bilingual America, although NCLR denies that they are in support of these. The LA RAZA crowd is a race-supremacy group, which any research on their organization will show. This is probably why Lou Dobbs had to leave CNN, because he confronted them with their roots. Great way to further divide by class and race and language. One of their own said, "US English is to Hispanics as the KKK is to blacks." Really? Just when I was ready to come down on Obama's side I find another Clinton stench coming from the WH. How many others are in the democrat dimworld that stand against proving citizenship before voting or government benefits? I mean, besides the racists already in the DOJ?

    May 17, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. mendoza

    The 1200 SAT Castro brother? Say it isn't so, man! A score of 1200 would barely get you into a bad college when I was in school–you know, old school, where we did homework.

    Interesting. 1200 when the hight score was 1600. He only graduated Stanford and Harvard Law.

    May 17, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Tom Wakely

    Let's see – Julian Castro for what ?

    In his first race for mayor, 2009, of those eligible to vote he received roughly 6.3% of the vote. In 2011, he received about 6.9% of the vote and in 2013, 4.5 % of the vote.

    I guess one can argue that it doesn't matter what percentage you receive as long as you win. But never breaking 7% of eligible voters doesn't inspire any confidence in me.

    May 17, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Steve Fielder

    So in other words, Julian Castro is so popular in San Antonio, Texas that CNN had to go to a local Teabagger group to find someone who doesn't like him.

    The man is going to be President some day, and you heard it from me first....

    May 17, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. The Elephant in the Room

    Wow, the racists showed up early for this one . . . To idiot No.1 . . . most of Obama`s cabinent are "white males". To idiot No. 2. . as mayor of a LARGE city like San Antonio, particularly in one of those red, TAKER states, Mr. Castro has dealt with a range of problems, socio-economic stratas and demographics. To idiot no. 3 . . . as a graduate of Stanford, like most women or minorities in positions of authority, he is NO intellectual LIGHTWEIGHT. [Obama – Columbia/Harvard; Holder – Columbia, Clinton – Yale].

    Kudos to Mr. Obama for continuing to prime the Democrats leadership pipeline with new talent. Don`t repeat the mistakes of the GOP by having a.the gap of real performers that occured AFTER George H.W. Bush (#41). Booker, Castro, Warren, Patrick, O`Malley, Swietzer are all high achievers that will find a place on the National stage for the Democratic Party.
    Obama leads on policy [ACA, Minimum Wage, Immigration] and on personnel development. Hey Republicans, are you paying attention, right? This is how it is done.

    May 17, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    That's one that absolutely needs to be BLOCKED!

    May 17, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. grunt653

    Ah! We just cant stop beating that dead horse. Already did this once! Look up Henery Cisneros under Slick Willy. Dont forget to review the "Henery Dome"!

    May 17, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Pam Skeen

    What's with the Libs and Dems??? The poor folks in America live in Section 8 houses with 70" wide flat scren TVs in every room....and the Libs want us to be more like Cuba? Where the average wage is $2 per day ???

    May 17, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. 2_indy1600

    So sorry to repeat the lie Castro himsellf told about his SAT score. Of course, since everyone else is so stupid, and some of us not members of "The Cosmic Race," how were we to know? I'm with the crowd promoting English in this country. Have already been denied a gov job because I can't speak Spanish, thank you. I can, however, read and usually can tell when a politician is lying, or as Chuck Hagel would say, " we missed it." Elitists are the idiots in the room. Save the vote, save the English speaking races in the US, and save your borders. Do it now.

    May 17, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Bill Davis

    The GOP have already decided not to confirm him.

    May 17, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    The guys more competent then anybody in the whole GOP party of stupid. I didn't read the comments yet but I bet 10,000 Romney bucks it's loaded with GOP teaparty BIGOTS comments. The GOP doesn't have a chance in 2014, theirs nothing WORSE then MAD VOTERS and more uncertain for the GOP. Starting to p in your pants yet?????

    May 17, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Geezer

    Great choice.

    May 17, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Tom Wakely

    I was born in San Antonio and graduated high school here. I was also an organizer for the United Farm Workers here in South Texas. I still live here. I've seen guys like Castro rise and fall. As I said in an earlier post, he's never broken 7% of eligible voters. As soon as a Hispanic here in San Antonio wins 50% of the eligible voters, I'll pay attention. Till then, forget about it.

    May 17, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Miguel

    In San Antonio the city manager has the checkbook, not the mayor or city council, so lets be clear the city's outstanding credit rating has ZERO to do with Julian Castro.

    I would die laughing so hard at the feminists if Castro does to Hillary what Obama did to her.

    May 17, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Jane

    @Rick McDaniel: Be so kind as to explain WHY Mr. Castro needs to be BLOCKED. And you can't just regurgitate your usual talking points, learned at the feet of Hannity, Limbaugh, Cruz, and the morons on Fox "News". Facts and figures, logically constructed sentences..... Anything? .....Didn't think so.

    May 17, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. 2_indy1600

    Refer to the list of 140 pardons Clinton made on his last day in office. This Billary two-step will tell you all you need to know, including how embarrassing appointments and their mistresses are flushed out of the pipeline. If you have $$$$ it certainly helps. It was called "Pardongate". Bill don't-go-there,Peter Clinton shows us some of his finest work. Can't help but wonder how such an angry old man had any influence over the world after his last 24 hours in office and what they reveal about the clinton tag-team. But hey, I'm all for second languages...put the kids through spanish classes this very minute, when they can't even pass English.

    May 17, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. njemnu

    Funny that some people on here are quoting SAT scores like that is the only measure of success in this world. People will say anything to spit on other people's success. hoping that society would revert to a time when people from a particular group had all the privileges society had to offer.

    May 17, 2014 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |

    I really mean no offense to the mayor, I honestly don't know that much about him except what was in this article, but from Mayor to HUD secretary seems like a giant leap for anybody. It appears as if Obama is stretching. It is no wonder so many of his appointment are quitting amid scandals.

    May 17, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. christian1269

    How can blacks get ahead, unless they pretend Affirmative Action is necessary? You're racist, unless you accept whatever liberal memos say.

    May 17, 2014 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. smith1

    excellent choice. Both brothers are really smart and doing well in politics. Right is already having fits. This guy could be VP. So much for the repo immigration plan. Elephant you are right on. Love it

    May 17, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Mike in Texas

    Just a correction about Texas. Texas is one of only three Red states that gets less than $1 back from the Federal government than it gives; however 39% of Texans don't owe Federal Income Taxes which is the 8th highest rate in the country. I am a resident of San Antonio and I approve of Mayor Castro and his brother is my US Representative. I have been represented by Henry B Gonzalez, his son Charlie Gonzalez and now Joaquin Castro. Haters will keep hating.

    May 17, 2014 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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