President-elect Donald Trump announced Monday he would nominate former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson to serve as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Bloomberg later confirmed Carson accepted.
Carson is a retired neurosurgeon who was the director of the Johns Hopkins University’s department of pediatric neurosurgery. He received world-wide renown for separating twins who were conjoined at the head.
“I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need,” Carson said in the announcement from Trump’s transition team. “We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”
Carson also ran for the Republican nomination for president, which Trump mentioned in his announcement.
“Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans,” Trump said. “He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
But Trump wasn’t always as sanguine about Carson. When Carson began taking the lead against Trump in Iowa, Trump compared him to a child molester and asked an audience “How stupid are the people of Iowa?”
Carson had also previously said he would not accept a position in Trump’s administration given his lack of government experience.
He has argued against the Obama administration’s fair housing plan, calling for less government involvement in social institutions, and equating the anti-discrimination attempt to “failed socialist experiments.”