Sen. Charles Schumer is recommending the Obama administration nominate Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as the new secretary of U.S. Homeland Security.
Schumer made the push in a call to the White House chief-of-staff Friday morning after current secretary Janet Napolitano announced her resignation.
Schumer says Kelly has the leadership skills and understands how to deal with terrorist threats.
White House officials said they're open to possibilities.
"I think it is far too premature on the day that Secretary Napolitano announced that she's leaving in a month and a half to speculate about successors," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. "The president will be very deliberate in examining his options."
If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, this would be Kelly's second federal post.
He was head of U.S. Customs back in the 1990s.
Napolitano is stepping down to take a post at the University of California, reportedly as president of the school.
The former Arizona governor has been in President Barack Obama's administration since he took office in 2009.
She was the first woman to serve as the head of Homeland Security.
Napolitano would also be the first woman to lead the University of California system in its 145-year history.
In addition to navigating the agency through several ongoing hot-button issues like immigration reform, Napolitano oversaw much of the federal response to Hurricane Sandy here in New York.
During a recent appearance on NY1's "Road to City Hall", Napolitano defended the newly released Federal Emergency Management flood maps.
They include thousands of properties where New Yorkers will soon be required to elevate their homes and/or purchase expensive homeowner insurance.
In a statement, President Obama thanked Napolitano for her service and leadership, adding, "Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values."