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While President-Elect Donald Trump has yet to offer clues on which people will fill his new cabinet, two potential candidates are emerging to become the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
According to a Politico report, Pamela Patenaude is being considered for the HUD spot. Patenaude served as an assistant secretary for community, planning and development at HUD during George W. Bush’s presidency, later becoming Director of Housing Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. She is currently president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America's Families and has not publicly commented on this report.
However, the Daily Caller is playing up the candidacy of Rob Astorino, county executive for New York’s Westchester County, for the HUD post. Astorino is a longtime friend of Trump, and he gained national prominence for his legal fight against HUD and the Justice Department over a federal court settlement challenging the racial diversity in Westchester’s affordable housing locations. Astorino, who was a broadcasting executive prior to entering politics, was the Republican candidate in the 2014 New York governor’s race, but lost the race to the incumbent, former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo.
“I can only say that I can’t confirm or deny the rumor—and that the County Executive loves his current job,” said Astorino’s spokesman William O’Reilly in a press statement. “He’s been friendly with Mr. Trump for many years, so any private discussions between them need to remain private.”