Fox News reports that Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has made the shocking decision to decline a role in Joe Biden’s Cabinet.
Several outlets reported Wednesday that Biden had offered the position of Interior secretary to the New Mexico Democrat. As secretary of the Interior, Lujan Grisham would have been in charge of federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the United States Geological Survey.
The offer was reportedly made to Lujan Grisham after the Congressional Hispanic Caucus lobbied for Biden to give her the position, which is currently held by David Bernhardt.
But the governor has apparently turned Biden down, according to Fox, which cited “sources close to the transition.” It remains unclear why Lujan Grisham made such a move, and she hasn’t released a statement on the matter.
Eyes on a different prize?
One potential explanation for why Lujan Grisham said no to Biden’s offer is that she would prefer a different position in his administration.
According to Fox, CNN claims that Lujan Grisham wants to instead lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Biden, a role for which CNN suggested the governor is a clear favorite.
But sources that spoke with Fox were reportedly puzzled by that last claim.
Indeed, logic would seem to dictate that if Biden offered Lujan Grisham the Interior secretary position, then he already had someone else in mind for HHS secretary.
The Hill reports that both Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) and former Surgeon General Vivek Murty are contenders for the role currently held by Alex Azar.
A look ahead
With Lujan Grisham out of the picture, the question remains of who Biden will ultimately choose for the role of secretary of the Interior. One possibility could be Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), who has the support of dozens of members of her party.
According to Politico, some 50 House Democrats signed a letter in mid-November pushing for Biden to offer the Interior secretary position to Haaland. Part of their reasoning is that Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe.
“You can make history by giving Native Americans a seat at the Cabinet table for the first time,” the legislators wrote, as Politico reported. Only time will tell, however, if that’s the path Biden takes.