ALL NEWS

AP sources: Biden to pick Buttigieg as transportation chief

Dec 15, 2020, 2:42 PM
Pete Buttigieg Transportation Biden...
FILE - In this April 29, 2019 file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, from South Bend, Indiana, listens during a lunch meeting with civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem neighborhood of New York. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to pick former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg to head the transportation department. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, Pool)
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is expected to pick former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg to head the Transportation Department, according to three people familiar with the plans.

Buttigieg, one of Biden’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, was a breakout star of the primaries, sharing victory in the nation’s first caucus with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. He suspended his campaign before Super Tuesday and endorsed Biden.

The three people confirmed the news to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they didn’t want to publicly preempt the president-elect’s announcement. The Transportation Department helps oversee the nation’s highway system, planes, trains, and mass transit and is poised to play a key role early in the incoming administration.

Buttigieg is the former mayor of Indiana’s fourth-largest city, holding the position from 2012 to 2020. He also served a seven-month deployment as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan. With his presidential campaign, he became the first openly gay man to become — however briefly — a leading presidential candidate. He has been married to his husband, Chasten, since 2018.

LGBTQ rights groups immediately spoke out in praise of Biden’s selection of Buttigieg.

“Pete’s nomination is a new milestone in a decades-long effort to ensure LGBTQ people are represented throughout our government – and its impact will reverberate well-beyond the department he will lead,” said Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Institute. “It distances our nation from a troubled legacy of barring out LGBTQ people from government positions and moves us closer to the President-elect’s vision of a government that reflects America.”

The South Bend chapter of Black Lives Matter, however, denounced Buttigieg’s impending nomination. The group had made their displeasure of Buttigieg known during his presidential campaign, following the 2019 South Bend shooting of a Black man by a white police officer.

“We saw Black communities have their houses torn down by his administration,” BLM’s South Bend leader Jorden Giger said in a statement, referring to Buttigieg’s effort to tear down substandard housing. “We saw the machinery of his police turned against Black people.”

Biden has compared the 38-year-old Buttigieg to his late son, Beau.

“To me, it’s the highest compliment I can give any man or woman. And, like Beau, he has a backbone like a ramrod,” Biden said during the March event, as Buttigieg stood behind him, bowing his head. “I promise you, over your lifetime, you’re going to end up seeing a hell of a lot more of Pete than you are of me.”

Biden has pledged to spend billions making major infrastructure improvements and on retrofitting initiatives that can help the U.S. battle climate change. He also wants to immediately mandate mask-wearing on airplanes and public transportation systems to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Infrastructure spending can be a bipartisan issue, and President Donald Trump spent years promising to push a major bill through Congress that never materialized. Instead his administration moved to soften carbon emissions standards that Biden’s team will likely work to undo as part of the broader commitment to slowing global warming.

Despite having governed a city of barely 100,000, Buttigieg was credited with transforming traffic with his Smart Streets initiative, a three-year project to convert 8 miles (12.9 kilometers) of multilane thoroughfares into two-way routes that enhanced South Bend’s downtown. The project received awards for environmental protection.

Though on a far smaller scale than the nation’s transportation systems, the project, as well as Buttigieg’s initiative to convert the city’s sewers to a smart-flow system, demonstrate what supporters praised as Buttigieg’s next-generation infrastructure vision.

The once most frequently mentioned early pick to head the Transportation Department, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff and ex-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, sparked strong pushback from top progressive activists. Emanuel, also a former congressman, helped oversee the Obama administration’s distribution of tens of billions of dollars in transportation spending as part of a massive stimulus bill approved following the financial crisis — but now seems unlikely to take any position in Biden’s administration.

His chances faded after progressives and civil rights leaders were very critical of Emanuel’s handling of the high-profile police shooting death of Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager killed by a white officer, during his time as Chicago’s mayor.
___
Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

President Biden Delivers Remarks On Reducing Gun Crime...
Kaitlan Collins, Sam Fossum and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Biden offers stark ‘Armageddon’ warning on the dangers of Putin’s nuclear threats

On Thursday, President Biden issued an Armageddon warning of Russia's continued threat to use nuclear weapons.
9 hours ago
A Now Hiring sign hangs in the window of Zupas in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (Ben ...
PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer

US hiring stayed solid in September as employers add 263,000

Some economists remain hopeful that despite the persistent inflation pressures, the Fed will still manage to achieve a so-called soft landing: Slowing growth enough to tame inflation, without going so far as to tip the economy into recession.
9 hours ago
People gather outside of a daycare center's scene of a mass shooting in the town of Uthai Sawan, 50...
Kocha Olarn, Hannah Ritchie and Heather Chen, CNN

Dozens of children among at least 36 people killed in childcare center massacre in Thailand

Children were among those killed in a shooting at childcare center in Thailand on Thursday. At least 36 people were killed.
9 hours ago
Dozens of people stage a demonstration to protest the death of a 22-year-old woman under custody in...
Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

A young woman’s death in Iran has sparked an uprising. News organizations are grappling with how to cover it

News organizations in the West are grappling with how to cover the uprisings in Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman.
9 hours ago
Nichole Thomas, Pioneer Park Coalition member and Latter-day Brides owner, speaks during a Pioneer ...
Mark Jones

Pioneer Park Coalition announces plan to combat crime, homelessness

On Thursday, the Pioneer Park Coalition announced a three-pronged plan to combat homelessness and crime in Salt Lake City.
1 day ago
Salt Lake City police are investigating a shooting Thursday evening, Oct. 6, 2022, at Meadows Park....
Mark Jones

UPDATE: SLCPD releases new information about Meadows Park shooting

One teenager suffered non-life-threatening injuries following a shooting Thursday evening at Meadows Park.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
AP sources: Biden to pick Buttigieg as transportation chief