San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro Headed For HUD?

Reports today indicate that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the brother of Congressman Joaquin Castro and someone considered a rising star in Texas politics, will be the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development:

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a rising star in Democratic national politics who’s even been mentioned as a possible vice presidential contender in 2016, is poised to accept an offer to serve in President Barack Obama’s cabinet, his hometown newspaper reported Saturday.

Castro “has signaled his willingness to begin a swift process of confirmation to the post,” including a vetting by the FBI that has already begun, San Antonio Express-News columnist Brian Chasnoff writes, citing knowledgeable sources.

The New York Times later Saturday reported Castro would be offered the position of secretary of housing and urban development, and that current HUD secretary Shaun Donovan would replace Sylvia Mathews Burwell as head of the Office of Management and Budget, citing Democrats informed of the plans. A White House official said they had “no personnel announcements at this time.”

The Express-News reported that this is the second time in as many years that Castro, who was elected mayor five years ago, has been approached by the White House about a cabinet job. He declined a chance to become transportation secretary, but privately “he’s said an offer from the president to serve as education secretary would have proven tougher to turn down,” Chasnoff writes.

Castro declined to comment to the Express-News.

Castro was chosen by Obama to give the keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He and his brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, have garnered widespread attention as two up-and-comers in the Democratic Party.

On some level, I suppose moving to HUD would be a step up for Castro from Mayor of San Antonia, especially given that there has been some, premature in my opinion, speculation, about him becoming Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate in 2016. At the same time, though, the Department of Housing and Urban Development isn’t exactly a high profile cabinet position and would be even less so during the final two years of a lame duck Administration. Other than adding a line to Castro’s resume that won’t matter much when it comes to actual substance, I’m not sure how this advances his political career.

Nonetheless, if Castro does take the job be prepared for the Washington political media to spend the next two years using him and his brother to make a lot of dumb jokes about twins.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    I agree. I cannot imagine why anyone who has any other prospect of gainful employment would take on this thankless job. I would think you’d need a draft to round up candidates.

  2. Scott says:

    I think the best reason is that Julian can gain/claim some executive experience which he really doesn’t get as mayor of San Antonio. San Antonio has a city council-city manager government framework. As mayor, he is basically chairman of the city council but doesn’t really run anything.

    He also gets an income which he doesn’t as Mayor. After 5 years as mayor the bank accounts are probably getting a little thin.

  3. humanoid.panda says:

    @Scott: Most importantly, he gets some national credentials without running a Senate race he can’t win in Texas, as its present electorate is constituted.

  4. superdestroyer says:

    Thanks for pointing out that San Antonio (like most cities in Texas) operating with a council-manager system. I believe that Houston is the only city major city in Texas where the mayor is the chief executive.

    And with defense cuts coming, there is a good chance that the economy in San Antonio will not be as well off in a few years as it is today.

  5. Scott says:

    @superdestroyer: The defense part of the San Antonio economy is, unfortunately, increasingly medical oriented. SA does have 4.8% unemployment rate, 2nd best in Texas. I normally don’t believe that credit can be given for this but, what the hey, if Rick Perry can claim credit, why not a mayor. Sitting on an ocean of oil has nothing to do with it.

  6. Stonetools says:

    Maybe a Hillary veep pick?

  7. John425 says:

    Julian Castro—following in the footsteps of Henry Cisneros?

  8. An Interested Party says:

    Julian Castro—following in the footsteps of Henry Cisneros?

    That was mighty white of you…

  9. John425 says:

    @An Interested Party: If you are suggesting I made a racist comment or slur then you are uneducated. The correlation is obvious–both Hispanic mayors of San Antonio, both to HUD. Cisneros left in somewhat of a disgrace and rumors persist about the Castro brothers’ sexual preferences.

  10. An Interested Party says:

    If you are suggesting I made a racist comment or slur…

    On the contrary, you simply made an odious slur, as your further comments about the Castro brothers illustrates…

  11. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @John425: “If you are suggesting I made a racist comment”

    “and rumors persist about the Castro brothers’ sexual preferences.”

    And you wonder why no one takes conservatives seriously when they make such foolish comments?

  12. John E Foddril sr says:

    CASTROGATE……Whistleblower exposes HUD Secretary Nominee Julian Castro in an unfolding HUD “cooked books” cover-up…… From 2009 to 2013 San Antonio TX Mayor Julian Castro banned whistleblowers from City Hall and public meetings to silence their reports of long-term public/police corruption in violation of the US Constitution and the Texas Open Meeting Act and subsequently participated in forty-five months of illegal city council meetings making all City business null and void ( Bexar County DA Susan Reed refuses to enforce the law) ….. In 2010 Castro and the City knowingly submitted false statements in HUD-OIG case # hl-10-0465 in an effort to conceal three decades of fraud and theft involving tens of millions of dollars while federal agents played along to protect Castro from exposure. … In 2013 the SEC opened case # FWRO 302036 to address reports of long-term municipal bond fraud by the City…..FOIA inquiries show that the FBI has over 1,000 pages of documents detailing the ongoing criminal conspiracy and that on Sept. 3, 2009 FBI agent D. True Brown published a fraudulent document to protect Castro and stymie any criminal investigation. …President Obama was provided with proof of the “cooked books” and criminal cover-up and on Nov. 17, 2009 sent a personal reply saying- “Thank you for sending me materials to review” but did nothing……. Obama now nominates Castro to be our next HUD Secretary.

    Contact former City Telecommunications Manager John E Foddrill Sr. for a CD containing documents and recordings turned over to the Secret Service, FBI, DOJ, HUD, etc. …..

    Review my Facebook page for more info …