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Ben Carson speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at the Republican National Convention, Monday, July 18, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Ben Carson was tapped to be Trump's head of Housing and Urban Development


Ben Carson has been named Donald Trump's pick for secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Carson, a former neurosurgeon, initially refused a spot in the Trump administration as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, but changed his tune in recent weeks, hinting on Facebook that he would take a different Cabinet position.

In a statement announcing Carson, Trump wrote:

"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.”

Here are Carson's thoughts from November on a possible Cabinet job.

Carson was the only candidate in the GOP primaries to lead Trump in polls.

I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need.
Dr. Ben Carson

On the campaign trail the two men were bitter rivals, with Trump calling Carson pathological, and casting doubt on Carson's biography. But after Carson dropped out of the race he quickly endorsed Trump, and was a frequent surrogate for the campaign. 


What will Carson do at HUD?

At HUD, Carson would oversee the agency tasked with strengthening the U.S. housing market. In 2015, HUD had a budget of $43.8 billion and 8,588 employees. It oversees the Federal Housing Administration, as well as Freddie Mac and Fannie May. 

On the campaign trail, Carson, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, took Trump on a tour of his boyhood neighborhood in Detroit, and Trump on the trail talked about how he wanted to help inner cities.

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