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President Barack Obama plans to nominate on Monday Charlotte, North Carolina, Mayor Anthony Foxx to be his next transportation secretary, a White House official said on Sunday.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Foxx would replace Ray LaHood, who has served as transportation secretary since January 2009.
Foxx is African-American and would add to the Obama Cabinet’s racial diversity, something the president’s supporters have been urging him to do.
As Charlotte mayor, Foxx is credited with improving the city’s transportation systems.
“Foxx’s career as a public official, in a rapidly changing urban environment, has been marked by an ability to integrate local, state and federal resources to meet important transportation challenges,” the White House official said.
North Carolina has been an important swing state in presidential elections. It voted for Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, but backed Obama in 2008. Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012. (Additional reporting by Steve Holland, Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Stacey Joyce and Mohammad Zargham)