Joe Biden has elected his former Democratic nominee opponent Pete Buttigieg to be Secretary of Transport in his upcoming cabinet.
In a press release, the incoming president, due to be sworn in on January 20, describes Buttigieg as “a patriot and a problem solver,” who he says has what it takes to successfully fill one of the most important posts in Biden’s government.
Biden plans to invest billions in US infrastructure.
Buttigieg won the Iowa primaries in the Democrats. He immediately got the attention. He was the first openly gay Democrat to make a bid for the party’s nomination. In March he left the presidential race, because he lost more and more ground after his victory in Iowa. Subsequently, Buttigieg gave his support to Biden.
Biden already said that he had a lot of respect for his former rival. Buttigieg reminded him of his son Beau, who died of a brain tumor in 2015 at the age of 46. “This is the greatest compliment I can give,” said Biden.
First gay minister
38-year-old Buttigieg has never held a position with the federal government in the US. Before running for the Democratic nomination, he served as mayor of his hometown of South Bend, a mid-sized Indiana town, for eight years.
He is Biden’s first rival in the primaries to get a position in Biden’s cabinet. In addition, Buttigieg could become the first openly gay cabinet member in the US to be approved by the Senate.
Earlier this year, current President Trump made Richard Grenell acting chief of US intelligence. Grenell thus became the first openly homosexual to hold a cabinet position. No Senate approval was required for his appointment.