- The Washington Times - Friday, December 12, 2003


President Bush yesterday tapped Alphonso Jackson, the No. 2 official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the past three years, to lead the agency.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Jackson will succeed Mel Martinez, who resigned to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Florida.

Mr. Bush announced Mr. Jackson’s selection at a midafternoon ceremony in the White House’s Roosevelt Room before a small audience of aides and family.

“He’s an experienced executive, in the public and private sector, a man who knows the issues facing HUD and knows how to get things done,” Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Jackson is a longtime Bush friend from their days together in Dallas and often accompanies the president on golf outings in Washington.

Before being confirmed unanimously by the Senate to be the No. 2 executive at HUD in June 2001, Mr. Jackson was Texas president of American Electric Power, an energy and utility company based in Columbus, Ohio.

Prior to that, the Dallas native had extensive experience in housing, having served as chief executive officer of the Dallas Housing Authority from 1988 to 1996. He has also headed the housing agencies for Washington, D.C., and St. Louis.

“I am humbled by the faith you have placed in me,” Mr. Jackson told Mr. Bush as he accepted the nomination.

Federal campaign contribution records show that American Electric Power’s political action committee donated $3,000 to Mr. Bush’s 2000 campaign, while Mr. Jackson made an individual $500 donation.

Mr. Jackson also served as Texas’ General Services Commission chairman. The commission oversees state properties, procurement and telecommunications. He was also appointed by then-Gov. Bush to serve on the Texas Southern University Board of Regents.

Mr. Jackson holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and a law degree from Washington University.

His nomination as secretary must be approved by the Senate.

HUD is a $32 billion-budget agency charged with helping to provide affordable housing and promoting community and economic development.

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