President-elect Joe Biden intends to nominate Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to serve as commerce secretary and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to lead the Labor Department, CBS News confirmed Thursday, according to multiple people familiar with the choices. The Biden-Harris transition team announced the nominations Thursday night.
The decision to pick Raimondo comes after she was considered by Mr. Biden over the summer to be his running mate. During the vice presidential vetting process, Biden grew fond of the governor, a Biden campaign senior adviser told CBS News in August.
Before she became the first woman governor of Rhode Island, her decision as state treasurer to overhaul the state’s pension system garnered her progressive critics when the plan was passed in 2011. She has been Rhode Island’s governor since 2015 and was the co-founder of a venture capital firm, Point Judith Capital.
Like Mr. Biden, the 49-year-old Raimondo is Catholic. She studied at Harvard University, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and then received her law degree from Yale University.
Walsh, who has been the mayor of Boston since 2014, has long union background that began in his twenties. Over the years, he rose to hold several union leadership positions in his home state of Massachusetts. After Mr. Biden’s presidential win, the 53-year-old mayor had several major labor leaders like AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka advocating for him to be named to the president-elect’s Cabinet.
Mr. Biden met Walsh on the presidential campaign trail in June 2019. At the time Walsh had not endorsed him because Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was still in the race. He did not endorse before the Massachusetts Democratic primary in March; Biden prevailed over Senators Bernie Sanders and Warren in that contest.
With these two latest picks, Biden has filled all 15 of his Cabinet nominees. Biden promised his Cabinet would “look like America” in terms of racial, geographic, economic, and educational diversity. His picks have garnered praise for their diversity, but some critics remain.
Biden’s nominees for his Cabinet include 10 men and five women; nine are White and six are people of color.
Biden has also picked five more women for Cabinet-level jobs, four of whom are women of color.
In addition to the Cabinet picks, the Biden-Harris transition team also announced they will be nominating Don Graves as deputy commerce secretary.
Nikole Killion contributed to this report.
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