Who could be Biden’s or Trump’s next secretary of defense?

Every presidential administration selects its new Cabinet members, even when the president wins reelection. Among these is the secretary of defense, and with heightened scrutiny around Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s health on top of the election year, discussions about his successor have begun to mount.

Heading into the presidential primary season, former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden are leading their respective parties. Here is a look at who both candidates could select as their next defense chief.

Biden’s top contenders:

Kathleen Hicks

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. | (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks is one of the top choices and a natural successor to Austin. Hicks’s background is with the Defense Department in civilian roles, including a Senate-confirmed
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