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President Obama Eyeing Mayor Julian Castro For Housing Chief

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File photo of Mayor Julian Castro. (Credit:     Alex Wong / Getty Images Staff)

File photo of Mayor Julian Castro. (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images Staff)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is considering nominating San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a rising star in the Democratic Party, to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to people familiar with the selection process.

Tapping the 39-year-old Castro for the Cabinet post would raise the national profile of the three-term mayor who has been discussed as a possible vice presidential pick in 2016, particularly if Hillary Rodham Clinton runs.

If Castro is nominated and then confirmed by the Senate, he would become one of the highest-ranking Hispanic officials in the Obama administration.

Castro’s stock in Democratic circles has been on the rise since he delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He and his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, have become highly sought speakers on the fundraising circuit.

Castro would succeed Shaun Donovan, a member of Obama’s original Cabinet who is well-liked by the White House. It’s unclear whether Donovan will remain in the administration.

An aide to Joaquin Castro said Julian Castro has expressed interest in the housing job and does plan to take the position if it is offered. The aide cited the mayor’s work on San Antonio’s “Promise Zone” as part of his qualification for the post.

HUD plays a lead role in overseeing the “Promise Zone” initiative, which aims to revitalize high-poverty communities by increasing economic activity, improving educational opportunities and leveraging private capital. San Antonio was among the first cities that received a grant for the program from the administration.

The aide spoke on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation ahead of an official announcement from the White House. Others familiar with the selection process also insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it by name.

The White House and Castro’s office would not confirm that the mayor was under consideration.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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