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Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Pete Buttigieg to Lead Department of Transportation

We wrote about what a Biden presidency would mean for the trucking industry in mid-November. In that article, our first point was that the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), Elaine Chao, would end her nearly four year term by being replaced. You have read the title of this article, so you know who Biden has picked.

Mayor @PeteButtigieg is a leader, patriot, and problem-solver. He speaks to the best of who we are as a nation.

I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because he’s equipped to take on the challenges at the intersection of jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate. — Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 16, 2020

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg is best known for being the mayor of South Bend, Indiana from 2012 to the start of 2020. He also served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve, serving in the military from 2009-2017. The reserves of the United States military requires members to be up-to-date on training in case of an emergency war, but otherwise do not engage in active duty. This allowed Buttigieg to serve concurrently as mayor and officer.

In more recent news, Buttigieg ran for president in the democratic primary for the 2020 election, marketing himself as the first openly gay president were he to be elected. He has a strong showing in Iowa, the first battleground state of the primary, but his support dwindled out over time to the name recognition of the former vice president.

What it Means for Trucking

You probably clicked on this article expecting some sort of prediction for what this means for the trucking industry, but the truth is we simply do not know. Buttigieg is something of a wild card pick for the Secretary of the DOT; compare with Elaine Chao who served as Deputy Secretary of the DOT under George H.W. Bush.

At the very least, Buttigieg has one glowing review. “As the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg understands the vital role that transportation plays in people’s lives,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). “AASHTO’s membership –the hardworking public servants at every state department of transportation in the country – are appreciative of the Secretary-designee’s call for robust investment in our multimodal transportation system and his commitment to improving transportation safety.”

The only real guess we have as to what might happen is along party lines: dismantle all of the changes made during the Trump administration and make additional changes as necessary.


We hope Pete Buttigieg does well in his new position whenever it becomes official. We are of the opinion that Pete Buttigieg was an unexpected pick for the role, but we hope he succeeds at it nonetheless. Hopefully he will keep his ear to the road and hear truckers’ various concerns as changes are being made.

What are your thoughts on this turn of events in the political world, and its potential consequences on the trucking industry as a whole? Let us know in the comments below.

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