President-elect Joe Biden has nominated former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, for Secretary of Transportation and will nominate former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to a cabinet position.
There has been much speculation that Buttigieg would join the Biden administration in a role. Now, it appears the former South Bend mayor will lead the department tasked with revitalizing U.S. infrastructure — an area where the Biden administration feel they can work well with Republicans.
Buttigieg, who ended his campaign before Super Tuesday elections in early March before endorsing Biden, was reportedly interested in a secretary position. Buttigieg was also considered for US ambassador to the United Nations and commerce secretary. It also marks the first time the President-elect has called on one of his Democratic presidential opponents to join his administration.
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation,” Biden said in a statement. “I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better. I trust Mayor Pete to lead this work with focus, decency, and a bold vision — he will bring people together to get big things done.”
As a candidate, the 38-year-old had a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which floated the idea of expanding broadband internet access through payment to state and local governments. He rose to fame following his win in the Iowa caucuses, becoming the first gay presidential candidate in U.S. history to win primary delegates from a major party.
If confirmed, Buttigieg would become the first openly gay senate confirmed cabinet member.
Mayor Pete is deeply committed to bringing people together and upgrading our transportation system in a way that serves Americans of all backgrounds and communities of every size — urban and rural — across our country,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said in a statement.
Granholm has been selected to run the Energy Department, a key part of Biden’s plan to move the country off fossil fuels. Granholm has shown her support for auto industry, which could help Biden appeal to blue-collar workers and the manufacturing sector.
The Energy Department is dedicated to maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons and help with advanced technologies for renewables, nuclear energy, and fossil fuel production. The department will also play a key role in Biden’s climate plan as he wants to reduce emissions from the nation’s building.
Granholm was seen as a contender for Hillary Clinton’s Cabinet had Clinton won the 2016 election. If confirmed, Granholm would be only the second woman to lead the department.
Story updated with news of Granholm being selected for Energy Secretary and statements from Biden and Harris.