President Obama Taps Charlotte Mayor as Next Transportation Secretary

President Barack Obama will nominate Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx,  to run the Transportation Department, a White House official said.

The White House official said that as mayor, Foxx has experience in boosting transit infrastructure and using those projects to create jobs. He oversaw a program to create an electric tram service to Charlotte, an expansion of a light rail system and the opening of a third runway at the city's airport.

Foxx was first elected Charlotte mayor in 2009. He raised his national profile last year when Charlotte played host to the Democratic Party's convention.

Foxx would replace outgoing Secretary Ray LaHood, one of the few Republicans serving in the Democratic administration.

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President & CEO Pete Ruane released the following statement regarding President Obama’s nomination of Foxx to be the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation:

“According to our contractor chapter affiliate and other leaders in North Carolina, Anthony Foxx has demonstrated that he sees the intersection of transportation infrastructure investment and economic development," says Ruane. "As mayor of Charlotte, he’s been a thoughtful voice in advocating for development of all modes of transportation in order to help spur the local economy, create jobs and improve mobility. We look forward to working with him to address the challenges facing our national transportation network.”

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Stephen E. Sandherr, finds it "encouraging that President Obama has decided to nominate someone who has first-hand experience with the significant challenges posed by our chronic under-investment in infrastructure and years-long and broken regulatory review process."

"[Foxx] has a unique opportunity to promote new sources of revenue to address chronic shortfalls in federal funding for our aging network of highways, bridges, airports and transit systems," says Sandherr. "In addition, he will be well suited to ensure that the Department of Transportation takes the steps required in the most recent surface transportation legislation to significantly reduce the time it takes for federal officials to approve new transportation projects. We will never be able to compete globally if it takes over a decade to approve new ways of moving goods and services from one point to another in this country."

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) also praised President Obama on his nomination of Foxx.

"The nation's state departments of transportation -- the owners and operators of the national highway system and the leaders in innovative transportation solutions - look forward to working with Mayor Foxx on the important transportation issues facing the nation and on identifying a long-term sustainable transportation funding source," says Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director. "AASHTO also wishes Secretary LaHood the very best. His leadership was instrumental to the successful implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), and improved national transportation safety."