California’s Abel Maldonado, who reportedly pitched a reality-TV show about his family, is among the top contenders for USDA.
President-elect Donald Trump triumphed in politics after a long stint as reality TV star. And now, as he scrambles to fill his final cabinet slots, Trump is taking a close look at a Republican who tried his best to move in the opposite direction.
Meet Abel Maldonado, who runs a large farm and a small vineyard on California’s Central Coast and is suddenly in the running for agriculture secretary. Maldonado, the son of Mexican immigrants, has seen his star rise amid speculation that Trump (who constantly lashed out at Mexican and other immigrants during his campaign) “is scrambling to appoint a Hispanic official to serve in his Cabinet,” Politico reports. If Trump fails to include a Latino in his cabinet, he’ll be the first president since Jimmy Carter to do so. There are only four slots left, and Politico adds that “Trump has narrowed his focus to agriculture secretary as the best possibility” for choosing a Latino.