WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as his new transportation secretary, a White House official told The Associated Press Sunday.
If confirmed by the Senate, Foxx would replace outgoing Secretary Ray LaHood.
Foxx is Obama's first black nominee among the new Cabinet members appointed for the second term. The president faced criticism early in his second term for a lack of diversity among his nominees.
The official insisted on anonymity to avoid public discussion of the pick before the official announcement.
The official noted that Foxx has led efforts to improve his city's transit infrastructure to expand economic opportunity for businesses and workers.
During Foxx's term as mayor, Charlotte has broken ground on several important transportation projects, including the Charlotte Streetcar Project to bring modern electric tram service to the city as well as a third parallel runway at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.
The city has also moved to extend the LYNX light rail system to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the official said.
"It puts us in a great spot to get additional federal funding for the high-speed rail, for Triangle transit here and for all kinds of highway projects throughout the state," former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said Sunday evening.
Foxx, an attorney who has worked in several positions with the federal government, was elected to the Charlotte City Council in 2005.
In 2009, he was elected mayor, replacing then-Mayor Pat McCrory who decided not to seek another term in office.
McCrory served as mayor from 1995 to 2009 and was elected governor last year.
"I wish Mayor Foxx and his family the best in taking on this important public service responsibility and I look forward to a positive working relationship," McCrory said in a statement Sunday evening.