WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday tapped rising Democratic politician Anthony Foxx to lead the Department of Transportation, an agency at the center of Washington's fiscal fights.
Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, N.C., is the first black nominee among the president's picks for open spots in his second term Cabinet. The president had faced questions, including from the Congressional Black Caucus, about a lack of diversity in his first round of nominations after winning re-election.
Obama said that as a mayor, Foxx knows how to use infrastructure spending to create jobs and boost economic growth. The White House cited Foxx's work on Charlotte's electric tram service, an expansion of a light rail system and the opening of a third runway at the city's airport as experience that qualifies him for the Cabinet post.
"Charlotte made one of the largest investments in transportation," Obama said during a nomination ceremony in the East Room of the White House. "All of that has not only helped create new jobs, it's helped Charlotte become more attractive to business."
Foxx, 41, has served as Charlotte's mayor since 2009. He bolstered his national profile last year when his city hosted the Democratic Party's national convention.
Among those in the audience for the East Room ceremony was Foxx's grandmother, who worked in the White House during the Truman administration.