Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx US Transportation Secretary Obama - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Mayor Foxx nominated to be next U.S. Transportation Secretary

Posted: Updated:
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

President Barack Obama nominated Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to head the U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday.

The president highlighted Foxx's background on building out the transit system here in Charlotte with the Lynx Blue Line and the start of work on the city's east-west streetcar line.

Earlier this month, Foxx announced he would not seek re-election as Charlotte mayor.

"If confirmed, I will do my absolute best to uphold the standard at the Department of Transportation," Foxx said in his statement at the White House. "I don't know of a Democrat or Republican road, bridge, rail system or port."

Mayor Foxx nor his press secretary commented on the impending announcement. But some state representatives are already taking to Twitter to congratulate Foxx on his nomination.

Several city council members say they haven't heard from the mayor officially, or unofficially, and one member said it would be inappropriate to say anything until it's official.

Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon said Sunday night he was not surprised about the nomination news.

He said if the appointment goes through the hopes the council will appoint someone not currently on the council to finish out Foxx's term. The council is required by state law to pick someone of the same political party as Foxx, a Democrat.

This is one of the last few selections President Obama needs to make. Catawba College Political Science professor Dr. Michael Bitzer noted how this could possibly help quiet the critics who say Obama's cabinet lacks diversity.

"I think he has certainly gained the admiration of the President and that is probably the number one qualifier. The President needs to feel comfortable with the people on his cabinet. But issues like the street car, issues like the airport are could be something Republicans in the Senate are going to bring to question," Bitzer said.

The nomination is only part of the process.

The Senate has to confirm the appointment and so far the President's picks have been held up by Senate Republicans. It could be several weeks before things are finalized.

Reaction

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, issued a statement following the announcement saying that he looked forward to working with the mayor during the nominating process.

Congressman Robert Pittenger sent WBTV a statement about Foxx's nomination saying: 

"For many years, I've admired Anthony Foxx's deep commitment to his family, especially how he protects time with his children.  That will be even more important in his new role.

As Secretary of Transportation, my hope is that Mr. Foxx will prioritize funding for widening and improving major road systems, which are used by far more commuters and generate significant economic growth. 

The new airport intermodal facility is also critical to creating tens of thousands of new jobs in our region and, if confirmed, I will work with Mr. Foxx to ensure the project receives appropriate federal support."

NC Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller says "We're proud of Mayor Foxx and we look forward to continuing our support as he works on behalf of all American families to invest in the needed infrastructure that will create jobs and opportunity in our local communities..."

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-SD, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement after President Obama announced the nomination of Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next Secretary of Transportation:

"I want to thank Secretary LaHood for his years of service at both the Department of Transportation and before that in Congress. He is a dedicated public servant and I wish Ray and Kathy the best. I look forward to reviewing Mayor Foxx's record and working with Chairman Rockefeller to ensure the confirmation process is fair and thorough. Without question, our nation faces a number of transportation challenges that will require strong leadership and effective communication with Congress to keep our nation moving."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, Tweeted: "Look forward to meeting Mayor Foxx, congratulating him on nomination as Transportation sec, discussing his vision for infrastructure needs."

City Manager Ron Carlee released the following statement: "I would like to congratulate Mayor Anthony Foxx on his nomination to become the next Secretary of Transportation. I wish him well as he goes through this confirmation process. Meanwhile, I look forward to working with him and our Council on the immediate and strategic issues facing Charlotte."

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow