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Leading Candidates for New U.S. Transportation Secretary

Mon November 12, 2012 - National Edition
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With President Obama winning a second term Nov. 6, several cabinet position openings may become available over the next several weeks, including U.S. Transportation Secretary.
With President Obama winning a second term Nov. 6, several cabinet position openings may become available over the next several weeks, including U.S. Transportation Secretary.

With President Obama winning a second term Nov. 6, several cabinet position openings may become available over the next several weeks, including U.S. Transportation Secretary.

Current Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced in 2011 that he would step down as secretary at the end of President Obama’s first term. Although LaHood has yet to reiterate his desire to leave the post since the president’s re-election, a strong likelihood remains that he will do so in the coming weeks or shortly after inauguration in January. With that in mind, here is a list of the leading candidates for U.S. Transportation Secretary:

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Antonio R. Villaraigosa is the 41st mayor of Los Angeles. He currently is president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Leading the nation’s mayors, Villaraigosa has advocated for innovative public policy reforms to create jobs, improve the country’s public schools, and expand investment in America’s transportation infrastructure. As mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa has pursued an agenda of making Los Angeles the safest big city in America, building a 21st century transportation system, achieving fundamental and far-reaching education reform, spurring economic development by eliminating government red tape and streamlining the city bureaucracy, and making Los Angeles a national model of sustainability and green growth.

Ed Rendell, former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania

Edward Gene Rendell served as the 45th governor of Pennsylvania, from 2003 to 2011. Rendell was elected governor of Pennsylvania in 2002. He was recently a member of the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee and served as General Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election.

Representative Steven LaTourette

Congressman Steven C. LaTourette is serving his ninth term in the United States House of Representatives and represents Northeast Ohio’s 14th Congressional District. LaTourette is a fiscally conservative, moderate Republican. He is widely credited with leading the successful effort to save more than 1,100 jobs at Cleveland’s Defense Finance and Accounting Service. More recently, LaTourette took a leading role in trying to assist auto dealers impacted by the bankruptcy and bailout of GM and Chrysler. His efforts led to the creation of an arbitration process so dealers could save their businesses. LaTourette announced in July 2012 that he would retire at the end of his current term and not seek re-election.

Jim Oberstar, Representative from Minnesota

James Louis Oberstar, nicknamed “Mr. Transportation,” in Washington, is a former U.S. Representative who served in the U.S. Congress from 1975 until 2011 as a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party. He represented northeastern Minnesota’s 8th congressional district. Oberstar was chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2007 until 2011. He is an internationally recognized expert on aviation and aviation safety, receiving the Tony Jannus Award in 2009 for distinguished leadership in the field of commercial aviation.