The Trump administration is considering hiring a Texas professor with zero government experience and a background in promoting GOP gerrymandering efforts as deputy director of the Census Bureau, according to Politico.
The potential selection of Thomas Brunell for the job would break with longstanding precedent of choosing a nonpolitical figure for the job, the report noted. The deputy director position does not require confirmation by the Senate and is usually filled by a career civil servant who specializes in statistics.
Brunell has testified in support of Republican efforts to redraw congressional districts and wrote a 2008 book titled, "Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America," Politico reported.
The Census Bureau has been conducting practice runs for, and experts have been warning that unfilled positions and a lack of federal funding could lead to an inaccurate count, according to the report.
Brunell is currently a political science professor at the University of Texas at Dallas and previously taught at Northern Arizona University and Binghamton University. He received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Irvine in 1997.