US & Canada

Obama nominates Julian Castro as housing secretary

Keynote speaker and San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro waves while addressing the first session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in this file photo from 4 September 2012 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Julian Castro entered the national spotlight as keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

President Barack Obama has nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as US housing secretary in a cabinet reshuffle.

The move elevates the profile of a young politician seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, analysts say.

Current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will become White House budget director.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr Castro, 39, would become the highest-ranking Hispanic administration official.

He won a third term as mayor of the Texas city in 2013.

Making the announcement at the White House on Friday, Mr Obama praised the work of Mr Donovan and credited him with assisting the recovery in the housing market.

The president said Mr Castro, whose grandmother arrived in the US from Mexico as an orphan, had "lived the American dream" and would work to ensure others followed the same path.

Both men were "proven leaders, proven managers", impassioned by public service, Mr Obama added.

He selected Mr Castro to deliver the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, a function Mr Obama himself filled in 2004 when he was running for US Senate.

Analysts say the San Antonio mayor has been mentioned as a potential running-mate for Hillary Clinton in 2016, if she decides to run for president, and a cabinet-level position would give him a national platform.

The outgoing secretary of the department of housing and urban development, Mr Donovan, will be elevated to director of the White House office of management and budget.

He will replace Sylvia Mathews Burwell, whom Mr Obama recently nominated to be US health secretary.

Mr Castro's nomination completes the shuffle begun after Kathleen Sebelius resigned from the department of health and human services after the botched rollout of the website for Mr Obama's healthcare law.

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Media captionIn his speech, Castro described the American dream as a "relay" not a sprint

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