President Donald Trump nominated R. Alexander Acosta to lead the Department of Labor Thursday, just one day after CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder withdrew his name from consideration.
Acosta is a former federal prosecutor and the dean of the Florida International University College of Law in Miami.
A native of Miami and first-generation lawyer, Acosta earned his undergraduate degree and Law Degree from Harvard and served as a law clerk to Justice Samuel Alito on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Acosta was a member of the National Labor Relations Board and became the first Hispanic to be an Assistant Attorney General. If confirmed, Acosta will be the first Hispanic member of Trump’s cabinet.
“After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for secretary of labor,” Puzder said in a statement Wednesday. “I am honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America’s workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity.”
Puzder withdrew his name from consideration after news broke that Senate Republicans advised the White House that four, and up to as many as 12 GOP senators were unwilling to support him. He was under a barrage of negative stories ranging from reports that he paid some employees in cash, hired an illegal immigrant housekeeper and allegedly abused from a former spouse.
Catherine Templeton, a former state director of labor in South Carolina and confidant of former Gov. Nikki Haley, was one of the finalists to replace Puzder. Joseph Guzman, a professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Human Resources and Labor Relations was also a finalist for the position.
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