As announced on Monday, Trump has selected former campaign rival Ben Carson for the position of Housing Secretary.
Carson, an accomplished neurosurgeon, announced his bid for the presidency in May 2015, portraying himself as an anti-establishment choice with conservative Christian values.
He eventually dropped out of the race and endorsed Donald Trump despite the billionaire’s harsh attacks against him on the campaign trail.
“There are two different Donald Trumps,” said Carson in March. “There’s the one you see on the stage, and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully.”
Carson celebrated Trump’s election and quickly became a vice chairman of his transition team.
Carson originally said that he wasn’t sure he would fit into a cabinet role, but his hesitancy may have been based on the rumor that Trump was considering him for HHS Secretary – a position he ended up giving to Georgia Rep. Tom Price.
Trump said he is “thrilled” to nominate Carson, adding that he “has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities.”
“Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans,” Trump said in a statement on Monday.
Carson hinted at a job offer from Trump about two weeks ago when he wrote in a Facebook post: “An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again.”
Democrats have criticized Trump for choosing someone who has no experience running a federal agency. “Trump has selected someone woefully unqualified to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” said Elijah Cummings (D-MD). “He’s never run an agency and it’s a lot to ask. He’s a neophyte and that’s not his strength.”
Carson, who grew up as the son of a single mom in Detroit, is confident that he can “make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone.”
“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 has accepted the nomination, but the Senate will have to confirm the decision before his position as HUD Secretary becomes official.