Politics

Charlotte mayor who hosted DNC convention named Secretary of Transportation

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

President Obama is expected nominate Democratic Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx to serve as the administration’s new Secretary of Transportation on Monday, less than a year after Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention that re-nominated Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Foxx surprisingly beat out longtime former Minnesota Rep. Jim Oberstar for the nomination, reports the Associated Press.

Foxx, a New York University law school graduate who has worked for the Department of Justice, was elected mayor of Charlotte in 2009 at age 38 and re-elected in 2011 with nearly 70 percent of the vote. He delivered a keynote speech at last year’s chaotic Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, where it was moved from the city’s Bank of America Stadium due to a 20 percent chance of rain.

“[President Obama] is a man who pulled our economy back from the brink. This is a president who plans to give every child an opportunity to succeed,” Foxx said in his remarks as host mayor for the convention. “For the next 62 days, from this night until election night, we will come together as we have so many times before. We will knock on doors, we will register voters, we will stand up for a leader who will move this country forward and together we will re-elect President Barack Obama.”

Foxx, the first Democratic mayor of Charlotte since 1987, took over a city in 2009 that had lost 27,000 jobs in the two recession-plagued years prior to his mayoralty.

Nevertheless, the Charlotte metropolitan area-unemployment rate registered at approximately 10 percent in January 2013, a number unchanged since January 2012.

“You are a big fan of infrastructure spending?” a CBS News reporter asked Foxx during a 2012 CBS News segment, in which Foxx took the reporter on a ride on Charlotte’s light rail system. Foxx is credited with expanding the system north to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“Huge, huge fan of it. I think it creates jobs right now. It also creates better mobility choices. In a community like ours that has struggled with air quality, it also provides environmental benefits,” Foxx said.

Foxx has also expressed some more conservative policy viewpoints.

“We’ve been able to manage our budget in this city without a tax increase over the last three years that have really been tough for all public budgets, but we’ve done it by working together,” Foxx said.

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