Sunday, April 28, 2013

Charlotte Mayor Foxx: Nominated to Join Obama's Cabinet

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx will be nominated Monday by President Obama to become the new Secretary of Transportation, according to a White House official. Obama will make the formal announcement, citing Foxx’s work in expanding Charlotte’s airport and light rail system in explaining the selection.

Foxx, 41, will replace former congressman Ray Lahood (R-Ill.), who was one of a handful of Republicans President Obama picked for his first-term cabinet. Foxx will be the first African-American to be selected for a cabinet post in Obama’s second term, although Susan Rice (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) and Eric Holder (Attorney General) are remaining in their current roles.

Foxx, an attorney who has worked in several positions with the federal government, was first elected mayor in 2009 and won reelection in 2011. He was a top ally of the president in a key swing state in 2012 and helped organize the Democratic National Convention, which was held in Charlotte last summer.

Foxx has led efforts to improve his city's transit infrastructure to expand economic opportunity for businesses and workers. During Foxx's term as mayor, Charlotte has broken ground on several important transportation projects, including the Charlotte Streetcar Project to bring modern electric tram service to the city as well as a third parallel runway at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. The city has also moved to extend the LYNX light rail system to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Foxx could be confirmed easily by the Senate, as transportation issues are traditionally not as partisan as others. He will manage an agency of more than 50,000 employees, with a budget of more than $70 billion. It should be noted that the transportation secretary manages agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, which drew headlines this week for delayed flights which the agency attributed to furloughs of air-traffic controllers caused by the sequester.

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