Author of ‘Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America’ is Trump's top pick for Census job: report

Author of ‘Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America’ is Trump's top pick for Census job: report
© Getty Images

President Trump's likely pick for the top operational job at the U.S. Census Bureau is the author of a book titled "Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections are Bad for America," according to Politico.

Thomas Brunell, a political science professor, is the candidate the Trump administration is leaning toward picking for the job, Politico reported Tuesday.

He has in the past testified regarding moves by Republicans to redraw congressional districts. In his 2008 book, he writes that districts in which voters are like-minded result in better representation. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“If true, it signals an effort by the administration to politicize the Census,” Terri Ann Lowenthal, former co-director of the Census Project, told Politico.

“It’s very troubling.”

The position of deputy director of the U.S. Census Bureau does not require Senate confirmation.

Brunell was previously being weighed for the job of Census director, which requires confirmation, but he was not ultimately nominated for the position. 

A former high-ranking Commerce Department official told Politico that putting Brunell in this position is "worse than making him director."

“There still is going to be hell to pay on the optics," the official said. "The Democrats and civil rights community will go nuts."

The census tries to count every person in the U.S. and is meant to be used for deciding how many electoral votes and seats in the House of Representatives given to each state. Some have raised concerns about potential questions that could be added about whether respondents are U.S. citizens and what effect that would have on responses.