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Obama's Cabinet
Transportation Secretary - Ray LaHood
12.19.08, 04:32 PM CST
17 of 18
‹‹ Agriculture Secretary - Tom Vilsack Labor Secretary - Hilda Solis ››

Ray LaHood, 63, has served as a Republican member of the House of Representatives since 1995 and was selected by President-elect Obama to be his Transportation Secretary.

LaHood is friends with Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and was known as a Republican centrist during his political career. He is said to have extensive knowledge of rural and urban transportation issues from his time in Congress. However, some have questioned LaHood’s credentials for the post as he does not serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this session and did not work on transportation projects while on the House Appropriations Committee.

LaHood, who is of Jordanian and Lebanese descent, is from Peoria, Illinois which he represented as a member of Congress. He was a member of the centrist Republican Main Street Partnership and is known for his strong admiration for Abraham Lincoln.

After deciding to leave Congress, LaHood was considered to become a nominee for president of Peoria’s Bradley University which he attended. He also considered running for Governor of Illinois in 2006 against incumbent Rod Blagojevich.

‹‹ Agriculture Secretary - Tom Vilsack Labor Secretary - Hilda Solis ››