President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as his Labor secretary, and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as his Commerce secretary, Fox News has learned.
A source familiar with the transition team’s thinking told Fox News that Biden believes these key appointments will help rebuild the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic by creating jobs, raising incomes, and advancing racial equity.
Walsh is currently serving in his second term as mayor of the largest city in Massachusetts. He has been credited with creating more than 100,000 new jobs in his seven years running the city. During the pandemic, Walsh ensured frontline workers has the support and protection they deserve, the source said.
Walsh is no stranger to rank-and-file workers. He joined the Laborer’s Union Local 223 at the age of 21, and eventually became president of the union.
Biden’s move to tap Walsh comes after former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., signaled that he would be interested in serving as Labor secretary.
Sanders was asked in November about whether he would accept the role. "If I had a portfolio that allowed me to stand up and fight for working families, would I do it?" Sanders said. "Yes, I would.”
Sanders ran unsuccessful bids for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and 2020. He was routinely critical of Biden’s policy record on the campaign trail, but ultimately endorsed the former vice president in his race against President Trump.
It is unclear whether Biden will tap Sanders to serve in his cabinet.
Meanwhile, Raimondo is the first woman to serve as governor of Rhode Island. A source familiar with Biden’s thinking said that Raimondo’s small business loan program she created in the state empowered entrepreneurs, more than half of whom were women or people of color, to get new businesses up and running.
Fox News has also learned that Biden will tap Isabel Guzman to serve as Small Business Administrator and Don Graves as deputy secretary of Commerce.
Guzman currently serves as the director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate and works to support economic growth in the state. She also helped to coordinate California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s economic recovery response amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to joining Newsom’s administration, Guzman served as a senior advisor and deputy chief of staff for the Small Business Administration.
Graves has been a trusted advisor to Biden for years on the economy, including during the Obama administration. Graves is currently leading the transition team’s Treasury Agency Review Team.
A source familiar said he knows the ins and outs of the federal government and will be able to leverage the right tools to help rebuild the economy.
Graves served in the Treasury Department during the Obama administration and oversaw the multi-billion-dollar Small Business Lending Fund and State Small Business Credit Initiative, as well as the Community Fund, and State Small Business Credit Initiative, as well as the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund — which Biden has committed to expanding to ensure that capital flows into Black and Brown communities to spark job and small business growth.
Graves also ran Biden’s signature Cancer Moonshot effort in 2016.