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Trump nominates former rival Ben Carson for HUD secretary

Dr. Ben Carson delivers remarks during a Trump campaign event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Nov. 1, 2016, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Dr. Ben Carson will be nominated as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Trump transition team announced Monday.

“I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development” President-elect Donald Trump said in a statement.

“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities. We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”

Carson also ran for president in the GOP primary in 2016 and became an early and vocal supporter of Trump after dropping out in March.

Trump praised Carson as a “greatly talented person” in a tweet two weeks ago when he announced he was considering Carson for the HUD position.

“I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I’ve gotten to know him well–he’s a greatly talented person who loves people!” Trump tweeted.

Carson’s name had been attached to multiple cabinet-level positions throughout the transition process, most significantly the position of Health and Human Services secretary. But according to Carson aide Armstrong Williams, the veteran neurosurgeon turned down an offer of that position due to lack of experience running a federal agency.

“He’s never run an agency and it’s a lot to ask. He’s a neophyte and that’s not his strength,” Williams said, despite the fact that Carson vied for the Republican nomination to be the next president of the United States.