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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Bill Clark (CQ Roll Call), Saul Loeb (AFP), Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After Joe Biden whiffed with Hispanic voters in some states, Democrats are urging the president-elect to nominate several Latinos to high-profile Cabinet positions.

Among those in contention: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for Homeland Security, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for Health and Human Services, and Rep. Filemon Vela for Commerce or Transportation.

  • Becerra and Lujan Grisham have quietly conveyed their interest to Biden’s team.

Where it stands: Biden plans to roll out his senior White House staff first, potentially starting this week, and then announce some of his Cabinet later this month or next. Hispanic appointments could help win back a demographic needed to maintain House control in the 2022 midterms.

  • Biden wants the Cabinet to "look like America," and some of his confidants are predicting it will be more than half female. They believe the big four positions — Justice, State, Defense and Treasury — could all go to women.
  • While Biden's West Wing will have older white males who are longtime advisers — Ron Klain, Steve Ricchetti and Mike Donilon — expect diversity around the Oval Office, too.

Biden came to rely on Rep. Cedric Richmond, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, for his political antenna. He's leaning toward bringing Richmond inside the White House as a senior adviser, instead of the Cabinet.

Flashback: The CBC has signaled to Biden that African Americans are expecting "nontraditional" Cabinet posts, with some targeting Treasury secretary.

  • They are gathering lists of names and funneling them to the transition through Richmond and Rep. Jim Clyburn, whose endorsement sealed Biden’s primary victory in South Carolina.
  • Among their top candidates is Rep. Marcia Fudge from Ohio for Agriculture secretary.

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Women take press lead in Biden era

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Women will overwhelmingly guide coverage of the White House and politics during the Biden administration, propelled by a slew of newly appointed leaders at major TV and radio networks, newspapers and digital outlets.

Why it matters: While female representation in the Washington press corps has steadily grown, what's changed most recently is the number of women in front of and behind cameras and bylines.

2 hours ago - World

Coast Guard searches for 39 people after boat capsizes off Florida coast

A U.S. Coast Guard ship leaving its base in Miami Beach, Florida, in July. Photo: AP/Marta Lavandier

U.S. Coast Guard crews were searching into the night for 39 people whose boat sank off Florida's coast over the weekend after traveling from the Bahamas.

The big picture: A "good Samaritan" contacted the Coast Guard about 8 a.m. Tuesday to say they "rescued a man clinging to a capsized vessel" 45 miles east of Fort Pierce, per a tweet from the agency, which noted it was dealing with "a suspected human smuggling venture."

Scoop: Race to lead NRCC kicks off

Reps. Darin LaHood (left) and Richard Hudson. Photos: Al Drago/Getty Images (LaHood) and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Reps. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) are both telling colleagues they plan to run for chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2024 cycle, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are confident they'll win the House majority back this fall, and the early jockeying to lead the caucus' fundraising apparatus is just another indicator of their optimism.