4 drop from running for HHS secretary

Although the White House has not officially commented on potential candidates for the head HHS post, four people have dropped out of the running.

The Hill reported Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said they were not interested in being HHS secretary. Peter Sullivan, a reporter from The Hill, also noted on Twitter spokespeople for Florida Gov. Rick Scott, R, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said the politicians do not want the position either.

The most prominent names still considered likely candidates are FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, and CMS Administrator Seema Verma. As of Monday, the following people were named in media reports as potential contenders:

  • David Shulkin, secretary of the VA
  • Ben Carson, MD, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.
  • Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, R
  • Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.
  • Former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.
  • Former Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.    
  • Mehmet Oz, MD, talk show host

The position of HHS secretary was left open Friday when Tom Price, MD, resigned over criticisms he used tax-payer funded charter flights. Don Wright, MD, HHS acting assistant secretary, was tapped to fill the role in the interim.


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