When he was made Labor Secretary in March 2013, Tom Perez helped President Barack Obama restore a Latino to his Cabinet, after the departures of two Hispanic Cabinet members after his first term.
Pressure to refill the ranks came from Latino organizations. Now, Hispanic groups are amping up the pressure again for Perez to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, who is stepping down.
On Tuesday the Congressional Hispanic Caucus officially endorsed Perez for attorney general, making more public the behind-the-scenes efforts of Latino groups to weigh in on the president’s choice.
Perez, who was the Department of Justice’s top civil rights enforcer under Holder before Obama tapped him for Labor secretary, is considered to be on a short list with two others: White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler and Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
“The CHC supported Tom Perez in his nomination to the Department of Labor and the caucus will continue to support him if he is formally nominated for the position of U.S attorney general,” Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, the Texas Democrat who leads the caucus, said in a statement.
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 39 national Latino groups, recently sent a letter to Obama supporting Perez as a possible pick along with other Latinos candidates. Latino groups are likely to step up their efforts after the elections.