Buttigieg Nominated For Transportation Secretary

The incoming administration of President Joe Biden has announced it will nominate Pete Buttigieg for secretary of transportation. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., was a presidential candidate in the Democratic presidential primary. If confirmed, he would replace Elaine Chao, who brought a strong maritime background to the position.

As mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg secured $200 million in private investment in its downtown, helping promote citywide job growth and facilitating innovative public-private partnerships to improve the city’s transportation. Part of the revitalization plan was a “Smart Streets” initiative that redesigned the city’s streets.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) congratulated Buttigieg on his nomination. “As the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., Buttigieg understands the vital role that transportation plays in people’s lives,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO’s executive director. “AASHTO’s membership–the hardworking public servants at every state department of transportation in the country–are appreciative of the secretary-designee’s call for robust investment in our multimodal transportation system and his commitment to improving transportation safety.”

Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, said, “We congratulate former Mayor Buttigieg on his nomination to serve as our nation’s next secretary of transportation. Given his background in the Midwest and, more recently, his extensive travels throughout Iowa and other rural states, I am confident Mayor Buttigieg understands that our nation’s transportation strategy must address the needs of both urban and rural America. If we hope to see the U.S. farmer remain the most competitive in the world, it will require sufficient investments in each link in the agricultural supply chain–rural roads and bridges, highways and interstates, freight railroads, the inland waterway system and our ports. Upon his confirmation, farmers look forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg in promoting each of these essential modes of transportation. “

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Steenhoek added, “We are hopeful that one of President-elect Biden’s early initiatives following his inauguration will be a comprehensive infrastructure plan. Amidst all the political acrimony dominating Washington, D.C., transportation remains one of the few opportunities for significant bipartisan agreement.”