Biden Cabinet secretary announces retirement ahead of ‘crazy, silly’ election season

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge announced Monday that she is stepping down from her position.

‘It’s time to go home,’’ Fudge told USA Today, which reported that her last day is March 22. ‘I do believe strongly that I have done just about everything I could do at HUD for this administration as we go into this crazy, silly season of an election.’

With her departure, Fudge will become only the second original Cabinet member to leave the Biden administration after Labor Secretary Marty Walsh stepped down last year.

‘From her time as a mayor, to her years as a fierce advocate in the U.S. House of Representatives, Marcia’s vision, passion, and focus on increasing economic opportunity have been assets to our country,’ President Biden said in a statement Monday. ‘I’m grateful for all of her contributions toward a housing system that works for all Americans, and I wish her well in her next chapter.’

Biden described Fudge as a ‘strong voice for expanding efforts to build generational wealth through homeownership and lowering costs and promoting fairness for America’s renters. 

‘Under Marcia’s transformational leadership, we have worked hard to lower housing costs and increase supply. We’ve proposed the largest investment in affordable housing in U.S. history,’ Biden added. ‘We’ve taken steps to aggressively combat racial discrimination in housing by ensuring home appraisals are more fair and by strengthening programs to redress the negative impacts of redlining. Thanks to Secretary Fudge, we’ve helped first-time homebuyers, and we are working to cut the cost of renting. And there are more housing units under construction right now than at any time in the last 50 years.’

Fudge, 71, served as a Democrat in the House of Representatives from 2008 to 2021, representing the 11th Congressional District of Ohio which includes the city of Cleveland. 

‘She was a member of several Congressional Caucuses and past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus,’ her biography on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website says, adding that in 1999, she ‘was elected the first female and first African American mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, a position she held for two terms.’

Fudge also was the director of Budget and Finance at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in Ohio.

‘Don’t look for me to ever be on another ballot or another appointee or anything like that,’’ she told USA Today, noting that she wants to spend more time with her mother – who turns 93 next month – and relatives in Ohio. ‘I really do look forward to being a private citizen.’

She also argued that affordable housing should be a key focus for both Democrats and Republicans.

‘‘It is not a red or blue issue,’’ she told USA Today. ‘Everybody knows that it is an issue so it’s not a one-sided issue. It’s an American issue.’’

Fox News’ Peter Doocy and Kaitlin Sprague contributed to this report.

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