Transportation stakeholders have one word for how they feel about Sen. Jim DeMint’s likely ascendency to the top Republican spot of a committee overseeing their interests: anxious.

Though nothing has been finalized, DeMint (R-S.C.) is widely expected to land the lead Republican post on Senate Commerce. Wesley Denton, DeMint’s spokesman, confirmed that he is interested in the position, which means Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) won’t challenge him.

Privately, lobbyists for interests spanning every major transportation mode said they worry about how DeMint — known more as a Tea Party flame-thrower than a policy craftsman — would treat their issues in that leadership post.