Senate confirms Castro as HUD secretary


McClatchy Washington Bureau

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro won easy Senate confirmation as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Wednesday, 71-26.

Castro, 39, is seen as a rising Democratic party star. He was the keynote speaker at the party’s 2012 national convention.

Castro is serving his third term as mayor of Texas’ second largest city. He’ll succeed Shaun Donovan as HUD secretary. Donovan has been nominated as White House budget director.

Castro received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1996, and earned a law degree from Harvard Law School four years later. In 2001 the age of 26, Castro became the youngest elected city councilman at that time in San Antonio history.

His twin brother, Joaquin, serves as congressman from the San Antonio area.

President Barack Obama, who travels today to Texas, praised the bipartisan vote, calling Castro a “proven leader” and a “champion for safe, affordable housing and strong, sustainable neighborhoods.”

Obama said he expected Castro to “build on the progress we’ve made battling back from the Great Recession -- rebuilding our housing market, reducing homelessness among veterans, and connecting neighborhoods with good schools and good jobs that help our citizens succeed.”

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