One of Three Texans Could Be Trump’s New Secretary of Agriculture

Two women, one man. Two well-known, one a little less so.

By Michael MarksDecember 27, 2016 12:58 pm

President-elect Donald Trump is close to filling all of the positions in his administration’s cabinet, but there are still a few vacancies, including Secretary of Agriculture. To fill that position, the president-elect is looking toward Texas.

Three Texans have been named as finalists to lead the department: the state’s current agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, former state Comptroller Susan Combs, and Elsa Murano.

Patrick Svitek, with the Texas Tribune, says it’s not a coincidence that a lot of the conversation is focused on these three Texans.

“Agriculture is a big part of life and also a key focus of government in Texas, so it would make sense that there would be at least more than one candidate coming from Texas for this federal position,” Svitek says.

Miller and Combs are well-known around the state. But Murano is a little lesser-known.

Murano served as the top food safety official at USDA under former President George W. Bush. Afterward, she became dean of agriculture at Texas A&M and went on to become president of the school. She also served under former Governor Rick Perry.

“She has quite an impressive resume when it comes to what I imagine would be the qualifications for agriculture secretary,” Svitek says.

Svitek says it’s not clear who will take the top spot for Trump’s agriculture secretary, or if Miller and Combs are under consideration.

“The Trump transition team has only actually named Murano as an actual candidate,” he says. “Sid Miller and Susan Combs are being mentioned as candidates. … We do know that Trump only has few remaining posts left to fill on his cabinet. This is one of them. And that it looks like there could be a decision on this probably in the next week or next few weeks.”

Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.