Lujan Grisham turned down Interior post, says transition source

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamDC mayor admitted to Democratic governors group amid statehood fight The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After historic verdict, Chauvin led away in handcuffs Hispanic Caucus energized by first Biden meeting MORE (D) turned down an offer to serve in President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE’s Cabinet as Interior secretary, a source close to the transition told The Hill. 

Lujan Grisham is believed to be interested in a position as Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary in a Biden administration given her work on health care, and CNN reported Wednesday afternoon that she was the lead contender for that position. 

But the source who spoke to The Hill said transition sources don't know where "the HHS claims are coming from."


Lujan Grisham's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Lujan Grisham is one of the brightest Latino political stars in the country, and Hispanic groups have been pressing for Biden to select Latinos for prominent roles in his administration. 

But if she was offered and turned down one Cabinet post, it could mean that other contenders are more likely to be in line for the HHS position. 

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is also reportedly a contender for the post, as is former Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthySurgeon general: US 'still not doing enough' to address growing mental health crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - House GOP drama intensifies; BIden sets new vax goal Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states MORE.

That Lujan Grisham was offered the Interior post could also raise eyebrows given that other politicians from her state are interested in that position. 

Other New Mexican officials who have been seen as top contenders for the Interior role include Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden officials unveil plan to conserve 30 percent of US lands and water | Watchdog questions adequacy of EPA standards for carcinogenic chemical emissions | Interior proposing revocation of Trump-era rollback on bird protections Biden officials unveil plan to conserve 30 percent of US lands and water Interior proposing revocation of Trump-era rollback on bird protections MORE (D-N.M.), who would be the first Native American to lead the department, which has a heavy influence on tribal issues. 

Both of New Mexico's senators have also been floated as possible Interior contenders.