State Watch

Rhode Island governor reportedly a finalist to be Biden’s Health secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is reportedly a finalist to serve as Health and Human Services secretary in the incoming Biden administration. 

A transition official told NBC News that Raimondo is a leading contender for the position. Sources close to Raimondo confirmed to 12 News that she appears to be a “serious contender” for the position. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity. 

Raimondo’s office declined to comment to 12 News. 

Raimondo is in her second term as governor, and cannot seek a third term due to term limits, according to the news outlet. She reportedly made a strong impression when she was interviewed for the vice presidency. 

However, 12 News notes that the way she’s managed the COVID-19 pandemic has recently come under criticism, since cases have risen more than in neighboring states. 

The news outlet also notes that she could run into resistance from Democrats over the way she handled Rhode Island’s pension overhaul in 2011, as well as her past career in the financial services industry. 

President-elect Joe Biden could announce his health team as soon as next week, per NBC News. Also in the top two is former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who is speculated to take a more prominent role in the Biden administration. 

However, not on the list was New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), who was originally said to be a top contender. 

Reached by The Hill, Biden’s transition team declined to comment on who may or may not be in consideration for the position.

—Updated at 4:49 p.m.

Tags 2020 election Biden transition Coronavirus COVID-19 Gina Raimondo Gina Raimondo Joe Biden Michelle Lujan Grisham Rhode Island Vivek Murthy

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