Pete Buttigieg has been picked for a top role in Joe Biden’s new administration in a move that would make him America’s first openly gay Cabinet secretary.
The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who fought the President-elect for the 2020 Democratic nomination, is set to become transportation secretary.
Mr Biden hailed the 38-year-old as “a leader, patriot, and problem-solver” as he announced the pick on Tuesday night.
“He speaks to the best of who we are as a nation,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr Buttigieg said he was “honoured” to have been asked to fill the role.
“This is a moment of tremendous opportunity—to create jobs, meet the climate challenge, and enhance equity for all,” he said.
He is the first of Mr Biden’s Democratic rivals for the presidency to land a role in his Cabinet, and is in line with his pledge to usher in America’s most diverse leadership team when he takes office next month.
Mr Buttigieg’s campaign eventually faltered amd he dropped out of the race in early March before he endorsed Mr Biden.The 78-year-old has compared Mr Buttigieg to his late son, Beau.
“To me, it’s the highest compliment I can give any man or woman. And like Beau, he has a backbone like a ramrod,” he said in March.
“I promise you, over your lifetime, you’re going to end up seeing a hell of a lot more of Pete than you are of me.”
Mr Buttigieg has been married to his husband, Chasten, a junior high school teacher, since 2018
He went from “Mayor Pete” to “Slayer Pete” during the presidential campaign as he successfully took on Trump supporters on Fox News.
Mr Biden returned to the campiagn trail in Georgia last night ahead of two crucial run-off votes in the southern state on January 5 that will decide which party – the Republicans or Democrats – will control the Senate.
At a drive-in rally in Atlanta, the President-elect slammed Georgia’s two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, for siding with President Donald Trump in his efforts to undo the presidential election results in Georgia.