Having spent four years in Washington with the Clinton administration, former Common Pleas Court Judge Nelson Diaz may return for a second extended stay.

Diaz, who served as city solicitor under Mayor John F. Street, is among a handful of high-profile Latinos rumored to be possible picks to serve as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President-elect Barack Obama.

Diaz said yesterday that shortly after Election Day, he received a call from Obama's transition team to gauge his interest in a Washington position.

"I said, if it's high enough, I might be interested in looking at it," Diaz, currently a lawyer at Cozen O'Connor, said in an interview.

Other potential candidates include Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr., Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, and former Deputy HUD Secretary Saul Ramirez Jr.

Nelson Diaz's candidacy got a boost Nov. 24, when the chairman of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which represents nearly three million Hispanic-owned businesses, recommended him for the job.

In a letter to U.S. Rep. Joe Baca of California, who chairs the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, chamber chairman David Lizarraga highlighted Diaz's judicial career and his achievements while serving as general counsel for HUD during President Bill Clinton's first term.

"Beyond his personal achievements, we believe Mr. Diaz exemplifies President-elect Obama's approach to public policy and has a facile, open mind that allows consideration of all solutions and all points of view," Lizarraga wrote.

Obama is expected to round out his administration appointments in the next few weeks.