Hispanic Caucus Gives Obama List of Job Candidates

Posted December 4, 2008 at 1:19pm

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Tuesday sent President-elect Barack Obama a list of 15 potential Latinos they want to see in his administration.

Five House Democrats are among the CHC-endorsed candidates. They are Reps. John Salazar (Colo.) for Agriculture secretary, Rubén Hinojosa (Texas) for Education secretary, Hilda Solis (Calif.) for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.) for Interior secretary and Linda Sánchez (Calif.) for Labor secretary.

The other 10 endorsements are Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, for Education secretary; Saul Ramirez, executive director of the National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials or Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion (D) for secretary of Housing and Urban Development; former New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) for Interior secretary; Thomas Saenz or John Trasviña, who are both leaders of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund for head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; Carrión or Maria Contreras Sweet, a founder of Promérica Bank and former California transportation secretary, for Transportation secretary; Texas state Rep. Rick Noriega (D) for Veterans Affairs secretary; and Palo Alto College President Cha Guzman for Education undersecretary.

“We understand that the incoming administration will have a vast pool of talent from which to choose. The individuals we have endorsed constitute the best talent while reflecting the diversity that is so valued by President-elect Obama,” the CHC letter said.

The letter, sent to Obama transition team director John Podesta, is signed by CHC Chairman Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and CHC member Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) on behalf of the 21-member caucus.

On Wednesday, the same day that Obama chose Bill Richardson as Commerce secretary, Baca warned that there could be trouble ahead for Obama if he did not nominate more Latinos.

“If it’s just one, he’s going to have to answer to a lot of the issues that come before us,” Baca told Bloomberg News.