US President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Pete Buttigieg as his administration’s Transport Secretary, CNN reports.
If confirmed, the former mayor of South Bend Indiana and 2020 Democrat presidential candidate will become the first LGBTIQA cabinet member.
The nomination is also the first of the former Democrat presidential candidates to be tapped for a top role, which would help give Buttigieg the experience needed to run for president at some future point.
The role of Transportation Secretary is expected to play a central role in Biden’s push for a bipartisan infrastructure package.
Buttigieg is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party but someone who lacked an obvious path to higher elected office given the continued rightward shift of his home state of Indiana.
While running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Buttigieg proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to upgrade the country’s crumbling infrastructure and an expansion of broadband internet.
As a presidential candidate, Buttigieg spoke of infrastructure from a small town mayor perspective arguing Washington needed to understand local government’s needs and issues.
Biden praised Buttigieg at a March event in Dallas, comparing him to his late son, Beau Biden.
“I know that may not mean much to most people, but to me it’s the highest compliment I can give any man or woman,” Biden said at the time.