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Some veterans groups say they were caught off guard by Biden’s pick for VA secretary


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WASHINGTON — The choice of Denis McDonough by President-elect Joe Biden to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs surprised some veterans advocates because they said he is not a veteran or medical expert and lacks the experience of running a large bureaucracy.

McDonough, 51, had not been mentioned by many as a candidate for the job leading up to Biden’s announcement Thursday that the former President Barack Obama aide was his pick. His selection was such a surprise that multiple veteran groups said they had news releases ready showing support for other candidates such as former Army undersecretary Patrick Murphy and former VA Secretary Bob McDonald.

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