WASHINGTON, D.C. – President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Pete Buttigieg to be his secretary of transportation, the campaign confirmed on Tuesday.
Biden formally introduced Buttigieg as his pick to run the agency at an event on Wednesday. According to Biden, if confirmed, Buttigieg would become the first openly gay person to serve in a cabinet position.
In his remarks, Buttigieg said he would strive to improve America's crumbling infrastructure and shared stories of growing up in Indiana with ambitions to be an airline pilot.
"Travel in my mind is synonymous with growth, with adventure — even love. So much so that I proposed to my husband Chasten in an airport terminal. Don't let anybody tell you that O'Hare isn't romantic," Buttigieg said.
At 38, Buttigieg falls under the "millennial" generation and would also be the first person of that generation to serve in the cabinet.
As head of the Department of Transportation, the 38-year-old would likely play a large role in accomplishing Biden’s goal of passing a sweeping infrastructure bill, which has been pitched as a major job-creator.
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation. I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better," Biden said.
Buttigieg has already made history. During his recent run for president, he became the first openly gay major party candidate to win delegates.
The former presidential candidate helped Biden solidify the Democratic nomination when he dropped out of the race before Super Tuesday and endorsed the former vice president, consolidating the moderate vote against progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
A long criticism of Buttigieg during the campaign was that he didn't have experience in the federal government. Some say this sort of cabinet position could give him the experience to run for the White House again at a later date.