Lujan Grisham turned down Interior post, says transition source

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamNew Mexico calls in National Guard to staff schools, child care centers Democrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit White House asks governors to name infrastructure coordinators MORE (D) turned down an offer to serve in President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says he didn't 'overpromise' Finland PM pledges 'extremely tough' sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine Russia: Nothing less than NATO expansion ban is acceptable 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 MurthyWHO sees slowdown in omicron surge The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote Maryland Democrat announces positive COVID-19 test 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 & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden officials announce clean energy plans Biden administration announces actions bolstering clean energy  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.