On Tuesday night, President-Elect Joe Biden nominated Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana and former Democratic presidential candidate, as Transportation secretary.

Buttigieg, if confirmed, will be the first confirmed openly gay cabinet secretary in United States history.

“Pete’s experience and skills as a leader, manager and brilliant communicator combined with his heartland roots and his unqualified commitment to diversity and equality, will improve the lives of all  Americans as Transportation Secretary,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), in a tweet.

Although it is a historic win for the LGBT community, it did come as a surprise, as Buttigieg had other positions in mind. He originally wanted to be ambassador to the United Nations, which went to Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and he was also thought of for Commerce secretary.

If confirmed, Buttigieg will manage 55,000 employees, an $87 billion budget, and over a dozen administrations.

“Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better,” said Biden during his nomination. “I trust Mayor Pete to lead this work with focus, decency, and a bold vision – he will bring people together to get big things done.”  Biden has celebrated Buttigieg since Buttigieg dropped out of the race in march to endorse him, and has even compared him to beloved late son, Beau Biden.

Others considered for the job, including David Kim, John Porcari and Sarah Feinberg, all had many more years of transportation experience than Buttigieg.

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