Geopolitics

These seven Californians may get jobs within the Biden administration

Few really know who will be in President Biden’s administration – and they don’t say that.

That didn’t stop the rampant speculation. Everyone likes to say they have been considered for a position, and it doesn’t seem to matter if it was serious.

As in most situations, California is right in the thick of it.

A Californian, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, a veteran of the Obama administration and granddaughter of César Chávez, has already been recruited as director of the White House interstate affairs office.

Here are seven other Californians whose names are floating around:

Julie Su was previously the State Labor Commissioner.

(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Julie Su, Secretary of the State Employment and Personnel Development Agency

Sus’s name has been repeatedly named as a potential candidate for Biden’s Labor Secretary.

She served as the state labor commissioner from 2011 to 2018 before being named director of the California Employment Agency, which managed millions more than normal jobless claims this year due to the pandemic.

Su previously served as the process director for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Southern California and co-founded Sweatshop Watch.

MP Jimmy Gomez

Rep. Jimmy Gomez helped amend the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

MP Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles)

Gomez’s name keeps cropping up as a possible US sales representative.

Gomez, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, worked with the Trump administration in 2019 to change the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, which was ultimately passed in a bipartisan vote.

Gomez won a second term by a wide margin in November, representing his all-blue quarter. But with such a small democratic majority in the house, Biden may not want to tighten it up, at least for a few months.

Rep. Karen Bass

Rep. Karen Bass’s name has been mentioned for at least three main roles – including director of housing and urban development.

(Michael Tran / Getty Images)

MP Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles)

Bass, who was on Biden’s list of possible candidates for vice president, is likely to be considered for a position in the plum administration, possibly as secretary for housing and urban development.

Her name has also become known as a potential US Ambassador to the United Nations, having long served on the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, where she chairs the subcommittee that oversees Africa and global health issues.

Bass is nearing a tenure limit as chairman of the Black Caucus of Congress and has no place in the leadership of the House. Some prominent black organizations are also pushing for Governor Gavin Newsom to choose her to replace the Senate elected Vice President Kamala Harris.

California Atty.  Gene.  Xavier Becerra

Backers hope Atty. General Xavier Becerra is appointed head of the Ministry of Justice or to join the Senate.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Atty. Gene. Xavier Becerra

Several Latino advocacy organizations are pushing Becerra on the US attorney general.

Becerra replaced Harris as attorney general when she won her Senate seat in 2016. If she were chosen, Becerra would be the second Latino to head the US Department of Justice.

Becerra has been suing various actions by the Trump administration over the past four years, including orders to end legal protections for Obama-era people illegally brought into the country as children and efforts to restrict Muslim immigration.

With a Democrat in the White House, California’s relationship with the federal government is expected to change dramatically. After more than 100 lawsuits, Becerra would be well positioned to defend the executive branch in court.

Becerra, a former member of the House of Representatives, is also among those believed to be on Newsom’s list for the next California Senator.

MP Adam B. Schiff

Rep. Adam B. Schiff could land a secret service post – unless the Republicans retain control of the Senate.

(Seema Mehta / Los Angeles Times)

MP Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank)

Trump’s main antagonist during the impeachment saga has been selected for possible leadership roles in the intelligence community.

But the supporters recognize that if the Republicans kept control of the Senate, Schiff would have a hard time getting sustained for anything.

Schiff, who heads the House Intelligence Committee, is one of those who is considering a possible move to the Senate or perhaps the top leaders in the House. So this is probably just speculation.

Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, with Governor Gavin Newsom.

Mary Nichols was mentioned for the Environmental Protection Agency or an advisory role.

(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Mary Nichols, Chair of the Air Resources Board

Well respected by environmental activists, Nichols could be brought in as head of the Environmental Protection Agency or a top adviser in the White House.

She might be particularly attractive based on her experience with the Trump administration’s attempts to overturn California’s authority to set vehicle emissions standards that are stricter than federal standards.

Trump managed to weaken that authority, but Biden and his EPA boss could try to reintroduce the rules without Congress.

Nichols’ term on the State Air Resources Board expires in January and she has experience with the EPA. Since the 1970s, she served as assistant administrator for the EPA’s Air and Radiation Office in the Clinton administration and in various other environmental positions.

Mayor Eric Garcetti

Mayor Eric Garcetti, as Biden’s friend and campaign co-chair, could be ready for a variety of jobs by the time he is ready to leave LA

(Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

Garcetti, a longtime friend of Biden and co-chair of his presidential campaign, has been put in as a potential transportation secretary or for some other unspecified executive position.

But Garcetti has two years left in office, and it would likely be a tough decision to leave LA in the middle of a pandemic – a moment of crisis for the city as tourism and tax dollars are drying up.

The Times staffer, Jennifer Haberkorn, contributed to this report.

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