UC Berkeley alumnus on shortlist for labor secretary

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UC Berkeley alumnus and California Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles has emerged as a candidate to become President Obama’s next Secretary of Labor, the Associated Press reported last week.

Following the departure of Hilda Solis, a former California congresswoman, Obama is expected to nominate an individual of Hispanic origin. Other contenders for the position include Tom Perez, a former secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and UC Berkeley alumna Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.

Perez enrolled in UC Berkeley in 1987, studying for a degree in Chicano studies, but eventually dropped out after his junior year.

“Look, I’m always flattered if somebody thinks my work is worthy of other consideration, but I’m focused on being speaker for these next two years,” Perez said to the Sacramento Bee. “And continuing to build back our economy, and continuing to build on the fiscal discipline that we’ve created here in California. And getting people back to work.”

Still, he stopped short of dismissing the possibility of seeking the secretary position altogether.

“Let them ask and I’ll give you the answer then,” he said.

Curan Mehra is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected].