Former Denver Mayor Vidal being considered for U.S. Transportation Secretary
DENVER — Two Coloradans who the Obama Administration had considered for cabinet posts have been passed over: former Gov. Bill Ritter, who was reportedly in the running to be President Obama’s next Secretary of Energy, and current Lieut. Gov. Joe Garcia, who went to the White House in January when he was being considered to lead the Dept. of Labor.
But there’s one Coloradan who’s still a possible cabinet appointee, albeit a long shot, for one of the remaining cabinet posts — former Denver Mayor Bill Vidal, who’s been considered to lead the Dept. of Transportation.
Vidal, who didn’t return multiple FOX31 Denver phone calls seeking a comment, spent decades working for the Colorado Dept. of Transportation, first as a highway design engineer and later as the organization’s director before leaving to become the Denver Director of Public Works under Mayor John Hickenlooper.
Vidal is now the CEO of the Metro Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
After Hickenlooper was elected governor in 2010, Vidal, then the deputy mayor, was tapped to finish out the final six months of his term. A Cuban refugee who came to the United States at the age of four under Operation Peter Pan, Vidal made his time in office count, governing with a bucket list mentality and making serious progress toward addressing the city’s structural fiscal deficit, as well as other issues.
Sources tell FOX31 that Hickenlooper put Vidal on the White House’s radar as a possible Transportation Secretary appointee; Sen. Michael Bennet and Sen. Mark Udall, both Democrats, have also reached out to the White House on Vidal’s behalf.
While Vidal would allow the White House to check a couple important symbolic boxes by appointing a Hispanic leader from a swing state, he’s still considered a long shot to be named to replace outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Obama is also considering Charlotte, NC Mayor Anthony Foxx and NTSB director Deborah Hersman for the position, along with candidates from within the Transportation Dept.AlertMe