President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Pete Buttigieg as his Secretary of Transportation. If confirmed, he would make history as the first openly gay person to lead a U.S. Cabinet department.
Biden said he is nominating Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation because “this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”
Biden will introduce Buttigieg in an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday.
“Innovation in transportation helped build my hometown, and it propels our country. Now is the time to build back better through modern and sustainable infrastructure that creates millions of good-paying union jobs, revitalizes communities, and empowers all Americans to thrive,” Buttigieg said on Twitter.
Pete Buttigieg served as Mayor of South Bend for eight years. He revitalized a city that had been struggling for decades after the Studebaker automobile company collapsed and was once called one of America’s “dying cities.”
Buttigieg was a top contender in the Democratic primary for party presidential candidate. He narrowly won the Iowa caucuses and placed second in the New Hampshire primary. He endorsed Biden after dropping out of the race.
Buttigieg was the first major openly gay presidential candidate to win a state caucus or primary in American history, and one of the youngest candidates ever to do so.
Buttigieg was an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014, eventually earning the rank of Lieutenant. The 38-year-old Harvard University graduate was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.
Meanwhile, top Republican Party leader and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated Joe Biden on winning the presidential election.
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