The main house at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL.
The main house at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL.

President George W. Bush’s first Under Secretary for Food Safety, Professor Elsa Murano, got her interview for Secretary of Agriculture Wednesday.

It’s unknown whether the former Texas A&M president met with the president-elect, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, or others from the transition team. Murano was spotted before noon at the Mar-a-Lago clubhouse, adjacent to Donald Trump’s winter residence.

Murano was USDA’s Under Secretary for Food Safety from 2001-2005.

There were other signs that Trump may be nearing a decision on who should replace Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Jan. 20.

Vilsack is the longest serving cabinet member of the Obama administration and the first to put a full eight years on the job in a half century. He is a former Iowa governor

Trump is looking at a fairly long list of candidates for the top ag job in the federal government.

Also expected to visit Mar-a-Lago this week include  Texas Agriculture Commissioners Sid Miller and former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado.

Elsa Murano
Elsa Murano

Murano, currently a professor of food safety at Texas A&M, would help Trump diversify. So far, only four of his 17 appointments have been women. None are Hispanic. As a Cuban-born woman, Murano would also bring expertise in food safety, which is one of the USDA’s principal missions.

Former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs is also a late addition to the list of candidates. Her tenure as commissioner is remembered for removing fried foods and sugar-filled products from Texas schools before Michelle Obama took up the cause of childhood obesity

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