One of President Obama's biggest Latino fundraisers is set to serve as the first Hispanic finance chair of the Democratic National Committee.
San Antonio designer and political activist Henry Muñoz III will likely be named to the position, according to Politico's Mike Allen. The DNC did not respond to multiple requests for confirmation on the appointment.
Muñoz served as a prominent bundler for the president and he is a chairman of the Futuro Fund, a Latino group that helped raise money to reelect Obama. Muñoz heads up a high-profile architectural firm in Texas, and he has designed a number of buildings along the U.S.-Mexico border.
As DNC finance chair, Muñoz would spearhead fundraising campaigns to help elect Democratic candidates.
The announcement comes amid criticism that Obama's cabinet lacks ethnic and gender diversity. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the two Latinos currently serving on the cabinet, have announced that they will step down. And with a series of white men being nominated to fill openings, including the secretary of state, treasury secretary and defense secretary positions, Latino-advocacy groups such as the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda have called on Obama to appoint more minorities to top positions. They say the cabinet looks nothing like the increasingly diverse country it is tasked with directing.
Obama has yet to choose nominees to fill the labor and interior secretary positions and he said at a news conference this month that he "would just suggest that everybody kind of wait until they've seen all my appointment[s], who is in the White House staff and who is in my cabinet, before they rush to judgment."
A Muñoz appointment at the very outset of the president's second term in office would allow the White House to signal that they hear those concerns. But while the DNC finance chair is a powerful position, it's a far cry from a cabinet post in terms of stature.
However, Muñoz is a controversial figure, one that would be unlikely to sail through the Senate confirmation that cabinet nominations require. Muñoz was the first Hispanic to serve on the three-member Texas Transportation Commission, but former colleagues at the Texas Department of Transportation told the San Antonio Express-News in 2011 that he was forced to resign for wasting money and using the psotion for political gain. As the paper noted, Muñoz himself disputes those accusations.