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Former Maryland Cabinet Secretary On Clinton VP Short List

July 22nd, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Democratic National Convention starts Monday in Philadelphia. At some point before that, Hillary Clinton is expected to pick her running mate and a man with Maryland ties is said to be on the short list. Tom Perez is the U.S. Department of Labor secretary and a former Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation secretary under then-Gov. Martin O’Malley. WBAL: reports Perez has spent a sizable chunk of his career as a civil rights attorney and headed up the civil rights division in the Justice Department. Perez is also a consumer advocate.

Economist Darius Irani said that as Maryland’s labor secretary Perez was involved in efforts for a higher living wage in the state and led efforts to tighten regulations on banks during the mortgage and foreclosure crisis.

“(Perez addressed issues) such as making sure people weren't being taken advantage of,” Irani said.

Perez was also instrumental in crafting regulations for what was at the time was the state's infant casino industry.

“Some people thought that it was a little bit unusual for someone who is left leaning to support slots because it's considered to be a regressive tax on people with low income,” Irani said.

The 54-year-old Perez is believed to be joined by Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and current Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as potential vice presidential candidates for Clinton. Some analysts said Perez might be a long shot.

“There is this conversation about whether or not she picks a sort of while male to try to attract some of those white males who are college educated in the suburbs and also some of those blue collar white males who are going to be important in states like Wisconsin and Iowa,” George Washington University political science professor Laura Brown said.

Perez also taught at the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore and he once was a Montgomery County councilman.

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