As inauguration day grows closer, President-elect Joe Biden has announced his choice to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio.
Fudge will leave her role as Representative for Ohio’s 11th congressional district to serve on the cabinet if confirmed. Fudge is likely to be one of the few members of Congress chosen to serve on the cabinet, as Democrats lost significant ground in the House during the 2020 election, and control of the Senate remains to be determined. But Fudge represents a majority-minority district in Ohio, and Democrats could safely fill her seat if needed.
If confirmed, Fudge would be the first Black woman to serve as HUD secretary in more than 40 years. The first was Patricia R. Harris under President Jimmy Carter. This choice from the Biden administration comes after the president-elect promised to put together the most diverse cabinet in history.
“It is something that probably in my wildest dreams I would have never thought about, so if I can help this president in any way possible, I am more than happy to do it,” Fudge told reporters. “It is a great honor and a privilege to be a part of something so good. If it were to happen, I would happily accept it.”
Throughout her career, Fudge has been a strong advocate for fair labor practices and civil and human rights. While she was previously thought to be a contender for Agricultural Secretary due to her position on the House Committee on Agriculture, Biden selected Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack for this role, who previously served as Agricultural secretary under President Barack Obama for eight years.
Fudge’s previous work with the housing industry includes introducing legislation to help states and cities enact a speedier, more efficient process for abolishing vacant and abandoned properties.
Notably, Fudge was not a member of Biden’s transition team for HUD.