President-elect Joe Biden tapped South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to serve as Transportation Secretary in the new administration.
"Mayor @PeteButtigieg is a leader, patriot, and problem-solver. He speaks to the best of who we are as a nation," Biden wrote on Twitter Tuesday. "I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because he's equipped to take on the challenges at the intersection of jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate."
Buttigieg was one of the first former Democratic candidates to endorse Biden after the South Carolina primary. After that, Biden said of Buttigieg: "I don't think I've ever done this before, but he reminds me of my son Beau. I know that may not mean much to most people, but, to me, it's the highest compliment I can give any man or woman."
He would be the second gay Cabinet member if confirmed by the Senate, after Richard Grenell served as acting Director of National Intelligence under President Trump.
Buttigieg could score much-needed experience in the role as many believe the 38-year-old will run for the presidency again.
The role of transportation secretary will be key to a bipartisan infrastructure package Biden has been pushing for. Trump himself pressed for an infrastructure deal earlier in his administration, but talks across the aisle fell apart over how to pay for such a bill.
Biden’s $2 trillion Build Back Better proposal looks to revive the economy and invest in schools, water systems, municipal transit and broadband access.
Buttigieg has emerged as a frontrunner for Transportation in recent days after earlier reports predicted he might be tapped for ambassador to China or the United Nations.
Other Democrats considered for the post included former Chicago mayor and Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Emanuel received pushback from the left, with some saying he conspired as mayor to cover up an officer-involved shooting of a Black teen.
Black Lives Matter activists protested for days outside of Garcetti’s home over the news he might be tapped for the Biden cabinet. They’ve been critical of his handling of the LAPD and police brutality protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.