President-elect Donald Trump announced Monday he has chosen former campaign 2016 rival Ben Carson to become secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Trump said in his statement that he was “thrilled to nominate Carson,” adding that he “has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communiuties.”
Carson had recently downplayed having any role in the Trump administration, saying that he didn’t know where he would fit. But in a statement on Monday, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon said he felt he could “make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need.”
“We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met,” he said.
Carson, who had previously been rumored to be a contender for a job heading Veteran’s Affairs, Education or Health and Human Services, could appear at first glance as an odd choice for HUD. However, Carson wrote and spoke about the department and issues affected by its actions numerous times during his time as a primary candidate, and he also addressed some of what may soon face him in a Facebook post last month that hinted at a HUD job offer from Trump.