President Obama elevated a rising star in the Democratic Party to a national job on Friday by naming San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to serve as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In the East Room at the White House, Obama named Castro to replace Shaun Donovan, his housing chief since 2009. He nominated Donovan to become head of the Office of Management and Budget.
Obama called Castro an “all-star” among American mayors, a “leader in housing and economic development” who cares deeply about communities like the one where he grew up.
One of the nation’s most prominent young Latino politicians, Castro delivered a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, the same year his twin brother, Joaquin, was elected to Congress.
Castro’s nomination is part of a Cabinet shuffle prompted by the decision of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to step down. Obama has nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell, now director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius.
The nominations come as the White House prepares for its last best chance before the midterm elections to pass an immigration overhaul and as reform advocates pressure the president take action to reduce deportations on his own.
Castro, 39, will leave San Antonio during his third term as mayor for the high-profile post. If confirmed by the Senate, Castro will become the second former San Antonio mayor to hold the job. Henry Cisneros led the city for eight years before President Clinton named him to the top job at HUD.