Trump pick to lead 2020 census pulls name from consideration: report

Trump pick to lead 2020 census pulls name from consideration: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE’s pick to oversee the 2020 census has pulled his name from consideration for the job, Mother Jones reported Monday.

Thomas Brunell, a political science professor who advocated for Republican redistricting in several states, has withdrawn from being considered as deputy director of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Brunell did not immediately respond to Mother Jones’s requests for comment.

A Commerce Department spokesman confirmed to The Hill that Brunell is not under consideration for the position.

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Politico first reported in November that Trump had tapped Brunell for the job. He is a registered Republican and argued in a 2008 book that more partisan districts create better representation for voters than competitive ones, according to Mother Jones.

He was also hired by GOP lawmakers to defend state legislature-drawn maps in states like North Carolina where congressional maps have been struck down by federal judges.

Senate Democrats had blasted Brunell’s reported nomination, with Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets MORE (N.J.) and Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzLobbying world Overnight Defense: House passes defense bill that Trump threatened to veto | Esper voices concerns about officers wearing military garb Senate rejects broad restrictions on transfers of military-grade equipment to police MORE (Hawaii) calling him “deeply unqualified.”

“The person charged with operational oversight of the governmental undertaking responsible for apportionment in our government’s highest legislative body should be committed to fair and accurate representation for all Americans,” they wrote in a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossNOAA hurricane forecast predicts record number of storms in 2020 33K laptops meant for Alabama distance learning are stuck in customs, could be held until October Mini-exodus of Trump officials from Commerce to lobby on semiconductors MORE last month. “Dr. Thomas Brunell is not that person.”

Brunell's withdrawal comes as the Census Bureau faces a number of hurdles ahead of the upcoming survey. The bureau currently lacks an acting director and the Government Accountability Office deemed it a "high risk" program in a report last year.

Updated at 4:34 p.m.