Is Julian Castro heading to Washington?

 

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (D) is headed to Washington to serve in President Obama’s Cabinet as the new housing secretary, a source close to the situation confirmed to The Hill on Saturday. 

The internal shakeup would shift HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan over to lead the Office of Management and Budget and replace Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who is vacating the post to take over at the Health and Human Services Department. 

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A full Senate confirmation could happen within months.

"If true, Shaun Donovan is eminently qualified to take over as OMB director, having just served as HUD Secretary where he oversaw the housing market, one of the largest components of the U.S. financial system,” said David Stevens, head of the Mortgage Bankers Association. 

"His expertise of the economy and strong leadership style will allow him to hit the ground running on day one of his new position." 

White House spokesman Eric Schultz declined to confirm the reports, saying that there are “no personnel announcements at this time.” 

The San Antonio Express-News reported earlier on Saturday that the president offered Castro, 39, a spot in the administration and vetting by the FBI has already begun, though it did not specify which seat. The newspaper added that he had turned down an offer to become transportation secretary last year.

Other details of the cabinet juggling were first reported by The New York Times. 

Castro, who rose to national prominence with a keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, would join his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), if he were to come to the nation’s capital.

The HUD post would be a major boost for Castro’s profile. He has been mentioned as a rising star within the Democratic Party, and even a potential vice presidential candidate in 2016.

The Senate is trying to push through an overhaul of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but the legislation has been stymied by Democratic concerns. 

The Senate Banking Committee approved a bill on Thursday and the White House will need a strong voice in the debate. 

The move would also position Castro to be one of the country's highest profile Democrats, as the party seeks to solidify support among the group in upcoming elections.  

To rise to those ranks, however, he would likely need to adopt a national office that put him more in the spotlight.

In his 2012 convention speech, Castro talked about his upbringing by a single mother and grandmother, both of whom were Mexican immigrants.

"My family's story isn't special,” he said. “What's special is the America that makes our story possible.”

Castro has served as mayor of San Antonio, Texas, the country’s seventh-largest city, for the last five years. If he does not join the administration, he could opt to run for one more two-year term next year.

 This story was updated at 6:21 p.m.