Obama plans to pick San Antonio mayor for housing secretary: source

WASHINGTON Sat May 17, 2014 2:57pm EDT

Keynote speaker and San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro addresses the first session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Keynote speaker and San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro addresses the first session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama plans to choose San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as secretary of housing and urban development as part of a Cabinet reshuffle, a Democratic source said on Saturday.

Castro, a rising Latino star in national Democratic politics, would take the place of current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who would move to head the White House Office of Management and Budget, the source said. Both jobs need U.S. Senate confirmation.

The budget director's job is being freed up by the departure of Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who appears headed for a relatively easy Senate confirmation as secretary of health and human services.

An official announcement did not appear imminent. The White House declined comment on the Cabinet reshuffle.

Castro, 39, mayor of the seventh-largest U.S. city, made his national debut in 2012 at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was the first Latino to deliver a keynote address.

His twin brother, Joaquin Castro, was elected to Congress the following year.

Julian Castro turned down an offer from Obama after the 2012 election to be nominated as transportation secretary.

Joining the Obama administration in a Cabinet-level position could give Castro the kind of visibility that could help his chances of being picked as the Democrats' vice presidential candidate in 2016.

Democrats are eager to press their advantage with Latino voters at a time when Republicans have stalled Obama's drive for comprehensive immigration reform.

Donovan, 48, has been Obama's HUD secretary since Obama took office in 2009.

(Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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