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Ray LaHood To Leave As Transportation Secretary

There’s more change coming to the Obama Cabinet:

WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only Republican still in President Obama’s first-term Cabinet, said Tuesday he plans to leave the Obama administration.

LaHood, a former congressman from Illinois, pushed for greater safety on the highways and in the air. He led the Transportation Department throughout Obama’s first term and helped steer a number of safety measures and highway projects, including steps to curb distracted driving, promote high-speed rail and repair roads and bridges. Under his watch, the department demanded tougher fuel efficiency requirements for automakers and took steps to address airline pilot fatigue.

LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press that he told Obama a week after the November election that he needed to move on but said he was still “conflicted” by his decision because he liked working for Obama and considered it the “best job I’ve ever had in public service.”

He said he plans to remain at the department until his successor is confirmed by the Senate, which he expected in about two months. The only other Republican who was in Obama’s first-term Cabinet was Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who stepped aside and was replaced by Democrat Leon Panetta earlier.

LaHood said he would not run for public office in his home state of Illinois and said he did not have any specific plans.

“I have had a good run. I’m one of these people who believe that you should go out while they’re applauding,” he said. LaHood said he was content to watch from the sidelines as his oldest son, Darin, serves in the Illinois state senate.

It will be interesting to see if there are any more resignations.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. rudderpedals says:

    Curious flying orangutans want to know about LaHood’s involvement with airworthiness certification and the flaming 787 battery issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. C. Clavin says:

    A Republican said:

    “…LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press that he told Obama a week after the November election that he needed to move on but said he was still “conflicted” by his decision because he liked working for Obama and considered it the “best job I’ve ever had in public service…”

    Well he just ruined his future with the Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. lankyloo says:

    I liked him a lot as Transportation Secretary. I thought he was very active and effective in the job. Hopefully Obama will nominate someone like him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0