Hilda Solis’ abrupt resignation Wednesday as the U.S. labor secretary will send a jolt through Connecticut’s 3rd Congressional District, where would-be successors to U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro have been looking for signs she might join the Obama administration.
Ted Kennedy Jr. of Branford, after declining to run for U.S. Senate two years ago, has said previously he would consider a run for elective office in Connecticut, now that his children are older.
Obama could repay two supporters with a DeLauro appointment.
Despite her close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, DeLauro endorsed Obama before the Connecticut primary, breaking with old friends at Emily’s List. Obama also would be repaying a favor to the Kennedy family for Sen. Ted Kennedy’s timely support.
“This will get the hot-stove league going,” said one congressional Democrat.
DeLauro’s name was in the mix four years ago for labor, but it is unclear if the dean of the state delegation would be interested in the job, if offered. DeLauro’s spokeswoman, Sara Lonardo, was decidedly neutral on the question of her boss’s interest in the job.
“Congresswoman DeLauro looks forward to seeing who the President selects to take up the important issues before the Labor Department,” Lonardo said by email.
Obama will be under pressure to name a woman to succeed Solis, given grumbling about the number of women in the administration, especially now that Hillary Clinton is departing.
DeLauro’s issued a statement praising Solis, but saying nothing about her interest or lack of interest in succeeding her.
“Over the years I always enjoyed the work Secretary Solis and I did together fighting for the success of American workers,” DeLauro said. “The Secretary and I are special friends and I wish her the best in all her future endeavors.”
If DeLauro moves on, expect competition. Open congressional seats do not come up often.
Susan Bysiewicz, the former secretary of the state who lost the Democratic primary for Senate to Chris Murphy last year, lives in Middletown, which is part of the 3rd.
“I love public service,” Bysiewicz told The Mirror after the Solis announcement. “But I don’t have any immediate plans to go back into public service.”