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US to Get First Openly Gay Cabinet Secretary

Biden will nominate Pete Buttigieg to be transportation secretary
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2020 1:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Another of Joe Biden's former primary foes is getting a key role in the new administration. The president-elect will nominate Pete Buttigieg to serve as transportation secretary, reports CNN. Assuming he's confirmed by the Senate, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary, notes Politico. Buttigieg was widely expected to land a significant role. The Washington Post recounts that when Buttigieg dropped out of the presidential race, he endorsed Biden at a pivotal moment before the Super Tuesday primaries. Biden then compared Buttigieg, who served a tour in Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve, to his late son Beau.

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“It’s the highest compliment I can give any man or woman,” Biden said at the time. "I promise you, you're going to end up, over your lifetime, seeing a hell of a lot more of Pete than you are of me." Biden has not formally announced the move yet, but after Reuters first reported the pick via anonymous sources, a slew of major outlets have confirmed it through sources of their own. One area of possible friction: Reuters notes that progressive groups and Black leaders fault Buttigieg for not doing enough to fight systemic racism during his mayoral reign in South Bend. (Read more Pete Buttigieg stories.)

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