Ray LaHood Leaving Obama Administration Transportation secretary the latest Cabinet member to depart By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Jan 29, 2013 8:59 AM CST 4 comments Comments In this Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011 file photo, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks about the Toyota recalls at the Transportation Department. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Newser) – Yet another Obama Cabinet member is exiting stage left. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood tells the AP that he intends to step down as soon as a successor can be confirmed. The former Illinois congressman was the last remaining Republican in Obama's administration, though Defense Department nominee Chuck Hagel would fill that gap. Rumors of LaHood's departure have been swirling for months, but this is the first public confirmation of it. He says he doesn't intend to run for office again, reasoning that "you should go out while they're applauding."