Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is going to ride off into the sunset after all. However, dusk has not settled on his career just yet.
The Associated Press is reporting that LaHood told President Barack Obama that he will be stepping down as U.S. DOT chief as soon as a replacement is named and confirmed by the Senate, which could take another two months. LaHood actually told the president after the elections that he was not up to another run as Transportation Secretary, then had second thoughts. On Jan. 29, his mind was finally made up.
The Washington Post said possible replacements for LaHood are Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was chairman of the Democratic National Convention last year, and National Transportation Safety Board Chair Debbie Hersman. Former Rep. Jim Oberstar, who chaired the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, also is a possibility.
“I’ve had a good run,” LaHood told the AP. “I’m one of these people who believe that you should go out while they are still applauding.”
LaHood was the lone Republican left on President Obama’s cabinet. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was the other, and he recently stepped down and was replaced by Democrat Leon Panetta.