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 Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again 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Thomas Brunell, a political science professor who advocated for Republican redistricting in several states, has withdrawn from being considered as deputy director of the U.S. Census Bureau.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 BookerBooker calls for hearings on reports of ICE using solitary confinement Poll: Biden leads Democratic field by 6 points, Warren in second place The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate MORE (N.J.) and Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzWhite House to convene social media summit after new Trump attacks Hillicon Valley: Investigation finds federal agencies failed to address cyber vulnerabilities | Officials crack down on illegal robocallers | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Senators grill Google exec on 'persuasive technology' Senators spar with Google exec over use of 'persuasive technology' 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 RossTrump officials ask Supreme Court to rule on discrimination claims in citizenship question decision Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question Apple in front lines of Trump trade war 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.