Mayor Foxx responds to rumors about Sec. of Transportation job

Published: Mar. 25, 2013 at 9:34 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2013 at 9:34 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Just days after a national article speculated that Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is on the short list to be the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation, more fuel is being added to the fire.

Several sources hit social media on Monday saying that they were hearing Mayor Foxx was planning to take the Transportation post, currently held by Ray LaHood, and would vacate his mayoral seat as early as May.

Officials with Mayor Foxx's office told WBTV "no comment" when asked about the new reports.

But in a telephone conversation with WBTV's Brigida Mack on Monday afternoon, Mayor Foxx said that he was "happy being the mayor of Charlotte and I plan to be here a good while."

The mayor wouldn't confirm, or deny, that he was on the short list for the President's Cabinet position.

Last week, a Bloomberg article cited two sources as saying President Barack Obama is considering Mayor Foxx for the job.

WBTV contacted White House officials who said there wasn't a timeline for the President's announcement for LaHood's replacement.  They also declined to provide the "short list" for candidates.

Foxx was elected to succeed Pat McCrory as mayor in 2009. In 2011, the Democratic National Committee chose Charlotte to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

WBTV contacted Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hageman to find out what would happen with the mayor's office if Foxx does, in fact, leave.

Hageman says Mayor Pro Tem, Patrick Cannon, would not automatically become mayor. He says the Charlotte City Council would have to choose a new mayor, although there's no formal selection process.

The new mayor would have to be a Democrat, since that is the party Foxx is affiliated with.

If Foxx is chosen by President Obama for the position, he would still need to be confirmed by the United States Senate.

A leader for the USDOT is one of four remaining Cabinet posts that the President has yet to fill, according to the article.

Foxx has been a staunch supporter for the region's 2030 Transit Plan.

Foxx recently created a working group made up of leaders from the public and private sectors to explore means of alternative funding for the plan since the half-cent county transit tax is not growing fast enough.

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