Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday his selection of Dr. Bill Hazel as secretary of health and human resources, calling him an “invaluable asset.” Hazel has been serving in the cabinet post since 2010, when outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed him.
During his tenure, Hazel has supported Gov. McDonnell in the implementation of several anti-choice policies.
Voted into office last month, McAuliffe ran a race heavily focused on protecting women’s access to abortion. The group Planned Parenthood Votes endorsed McAuliffe and spent more than $1 million blanketing the state with radio and television ads against McAuliffe’s opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
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State Sen. Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) told the Washington Post that Hazel represents McAuliffe’s “best shot at Medicaid expansion by far.” Under McDonnell’s leadership, Hazel expressed opposition to the application of the Affordable Care Act, including Medicaid expansion, to Virginia.
Virginia cabinet members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by each legislative house.