President Barack Obama's decision to make Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx the next U.S. transportation secretary is good news for North Carolina, former state Transportation Secretary Gene Conti said Sunday.
“Because he knows North Carolina, and he will be responsive to North Carolina’s needs,” said Conti, who served as an assistant U.S. transportation secretary during the Clinton administration and headed the state DOT under former Gov. Bev Perdue.
Foxx is expected to be named Monday to succeed Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Illinois congressman.
“Obviously he can’t just direct money willy-nilly to North Carolina, but I will tell you that Illinois fared very well under Secretary LaHood. I think North Carolina will have a sympathetic ear there. I think this is excellent news for North Carolina,” Conti said.
Conti praised Foxx for his work as Charlotte mayor to advance the city’s rail transit plan and to push for freight and passenger rail improvements and completion of Charlotte’s I-485 Outer Loop. When Conti chaired a national railroad policy committee meeting in Charlotte, Foxx “spoke very eloquently about rail, off the cuff, and he wowed the crowd about how important the rail connections would be for Charlotte. I think he is very capable.”