Days before inauguration, Trump’s secretary of agriculture pick still unclear

United States Department of Agriculture Jamie L Whitten Federal Building Washington DC June

A behind-the-scenes fight between agribusiness tycoons and members of Donald Trump’s camp who want more diversity in the Cabinet has turned the selection process for Agriculture secretary into a months-long battle.

The usually low-profile post remains the only Cabinet-level job without a nominee in the final days before Trump is inaugurated. Word leaked out two weeks ago that Trump was poised to pick former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, but the announcement never came.

Now, sources say Perdue’s status as the favorite may be in doubt amid a last-minute push for former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who offers Trump one last chance to put a Hispanic in the Cabinet.

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The parade of candidates to Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower range from Texas agriculture commissioner Sid Miller — who’s also a rodeo cowboy — to Susan Combs, a former Texas agriculture commissioner who penned a steamy romance novel and supported abortion rights. Most recently, Indiana Agriculture Director Ted McKinney and Kip Tom, an Indiana farmer who ran for Congress last year, have also visited Trump Tower.

Elsa Murano, a Cuban-born professor at Texas A&M University who once served as the food safety undersecretary at USDA also made visits but it’s unclear whether she remains in contention.

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Trump’s missing Cabinet secretary

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