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Bush picks Peters to be next U.S. transportation secretary

A former federal highway administrator might be the next U.S. transportation secretary. Yesterday, President Bush announced he intends to nominate Mary Peters to the cabinet post.

Head of the Federal Highway Administration between 2001 and 2005, Peters would succeed Norman Mineta, who resigned in early July after serving as transportation secretary for more than five years. Assistant Transportation Secretary Maria Cino has been serving as acting U.S. transportation secretary since Mineta departed.

Peters most recently served as senior executive for transportation policy for a major engineering firm. She previously spent more than 15 years with the Arizona Department of Transportation, rising through the ranks to become director in 1998.

“Mary Peters knows the legacy she has to live up to at the Department of Transportation,” said Bush in a prepared statement. “She will take this new post during a time of historic challenges for our economy and our transportation system.”

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) endorses Peters’ nomination, which must be confirmed by the Senate.

“Both as secretary of transportation for the state of Arizona and federal highway administrator, she has shown great capacity to master transportation policy across all modes,” said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger in a released statement. “She also has demonstrated the ability to work with all stakeholders in addressing our transportation needs.”

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More News from 9/6/2006