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Posted: February 16, 2017

Donald Trump names Alexander Acosta as labor secretary nominee

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a listening session with the Retail Industry Leaders Association and member company chief executive officers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 15, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a listening session with the Retail Industry Leaders Association and member company chief executive officers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 15, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

By Theresa Seiger

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

WASHINGTON —

President Donald Trump named R. Alexander Acosta as his nominee for labor secretary Thursday at a midday news conference, one day after fast-food executive Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration.

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The pick was first reported by NBC News ahead of a scheduled 12:30 p.m. EST news conference.

"He's had a tremendous career," Trump said at a new conference. "I think he'll be a tremendous secretary of labor."

Acosta, dean of the Florida International University School of Law and chairman of U.S. Century Bank, is a former member of the National Labor Relations Board. He was nominated to the position by former President George W. Bush.

Acosta has served in two other senate-confirmed positions. Bush chose him to serve as assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the Department of Justice in 2003. He served from 2005 until 2009 as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

"If confirmed, Acosta -- the son of Cuban immigrants - would be the first Hispanic member of Trump's Cabinet," according to CNN.

Acosta became the dean of Florida International University’s College of Law in 2009. He was named chairman of U.S. Century Bank in 2013, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

Acosta worked as a law clerk for then-Third Circuit Appeals Court Judge Samuel Alito Jr. before the latter man's nomination to the Supreme Court. He went on to specialize in employment and labor issues while working in the Washington office of the Kirkland and Ellis law firm.

Puzder, the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc., withdrew his nomination Wednesday afternoon after it became clear that he would not get enough congressional support to confirm his nomination, The Associated Press reported.

He was dogged by controversy over his treatment of workers, previous comments about women and his employment of a housekeeper who was not authorized to work in the United States.

Puzder said in a short statement on Twitter that he was "honored to have been considered" for the position.

Check back for updates on this developing story.


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