As President-elect Donald Trump fills out his Cabinet, a number of candidates with ties to the Carolinas have made the cut or reportedly been in the running:
▪ Nikki Haley: On Nov. 23, Trump announced the South Carolina governor as his choice to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, calling her “a proven dealmaker.”
Haley didn’t take questions at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday in Fort Mill, but some officials on hand said they were sorry to see her leave the governor’s mansion, where she was known for recruiting new businesses to the state.
▪ Elaine Chao: Since 2011, Trump’s nominee for transportation secretary has served on the board of Wells Fargo, the banking giant that has its largest employee base in Charlotte. Recently, the company has been dealing with a scandal over fake customer accounts.
“Elaine has significant government and executive leadership experience, and her service as a member of the Wells Fargo Board of Directors, along with a multitude of other leadership accomplishments in both the public and private sectors, will serve her well in this important role,” Wells spokeswoman Jennifer Dunn said.
If confirmed, the former labor secretary under President George W. Bush would replace former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. A person familiar with Wells said Chao would leave the board before assuming the post. The board plans to add a new director once she departs.
▪ Wilbur Ross: Trump’s choice for commerce secretary is a turn-around investor who bought Greensboro-based textile icons Cone Mills and Burlington Industries through his W.L. Ross & Co. investment vehicle. In October, W.L. Ross sold these holdings to a private equity firm.
▪ John Allison: The former CEO of Winston-Salem-based BB&T met with Trump Monday about the Treasury secretary job, but the President-elect on Wednesday tapped former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin as his pick.
In an interview with the Observer Wednesday, Allison said he talked with Trump about other positions, but wouldn’t disclose specifics. “They haven’t made me an offer, and I haven’t accepted,” said Allison, 68.
He acknowledged interest in serving as chairman of the Federal Reserve, an agency he would like to see dismantled.
▪ Dan DiMicco: The former CEO of Charlotte-based steel maker Nucor was put in charge of the transition team’s preparations for reshaping the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and there has been speculation that he could be in the running for the post himself.
▪ Tony Zeiss: The outgoing president of Central Piedmont Community College was said to be in consideration for education secretary before Trump named Betsy DeVos.