Colorado's Ken Salazar will soon have another feather to add to his trademark cowboy hat: according to reports, the Biden administration plans to nominate the former interior secretary and U.S. senator as its next ambassador to Mexico.
Mexico City daily La Jornada reported Thursday that Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs sources confirmed that Salazar's long-suspected nomination was imminent.
On Wednesday, New York Times White House correspondent Annie Karni reported that Salazar was among a batch of high-profile diplomatic nominees the Biden administration plans to announce.
Salazar has been rumored to be under consideration for the post since April, Colorado Politics reported. The Times said the Biden administration has delayed announcing some major diplomatic nominations — including ambassadors to China, India, Israel and Japan — in order to "unveil a diverse slate of nominees" all at once.
Salazar hasn't responded to a request for comment, and attempts by Colorado Politics to reach him on Friday were unsuccessful.
The fifth-generation Coloradan, whose family has long operated a ranch in the San Luis Valley, was elected twice as the state's attorney general and served four years in the U.S. Senate before stepping down to join the incoming Obama administration in 2009. He ran the Department of the Interior through former President Barack Obama's first term and then returned to Colorado, where he joined international law firm WilmerHale as a partner.
A Democratic aide told The Hill that leaking the confirmation about Salazar's upcoming nomination pointed to a rocky relationship between the U.S. government and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration.
Salazar could be taking over the embassy when relations between the two countries are strained, The Hill said, including over a record surge of immigrants at the southern U.S. border since President Joe Biden took office in January.
Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to visit Mexico City in June as part of the administration's plan to address migration issues.
In his only publicly announced campaign event in Colorado ahead of last year's presidential primary, Joe Biden appeared at a fundraiser hosted by Salazar in February at his north Denver home.
Salazar last year co-chaired Biden's Latino Leadership Committee and served as an honorary co-chair of the Biden campaign's Colorado Latino Leadership Council.