HILDA SOLIS TO LABOR…. Various names have been rumored, but it appears that our next Labor Secretary will be Rep. Hilda Solis.

A labor official says Rep. Hilda Solis of California will be nominated as labor secretary by President-elect Barack Obama.

The Democratic congresswoman was just elected to her fifth term representing heavily Hispanic portions of eastern Los Angeles County and east L.A. She is the daughter of Mexican and Nicaraguan immigrants and has been the only member of Congress of Central American descent.

I’m only vaguely familiar with Solis’ background, but a quick look around the tubes suggests she’s well suited for the job, and her nomination will be a big win for unions. (The transition office was, by the way, under increasing pressure on increased cabinet diversity, and Holis, as a Latina woman, helps. If my count is right, she’s the fifth woman and the third Hispanic official to join Obama’s team.)

Seyward Darby notes, for example, that Holis has described herself as a “daughter of a union family,” co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act in the 110th Congress, and earned a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO last year.

For more, take a look at Holis’ EFCA speech on the House floor, and her position page on labor issues from her campaign website, which shows her taking a strong pro-union message on pretty much every issue important to labor.

We haven’t heard too much lately about the lack of genuine, unapologetic liberals in Obama’s cabinet, but for those who’ve been worried about ideological diversity on the president-elect’s team, Holis should make progressives feel pretty good.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.