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Government, Politics & Issues

Former Ill. Congressman LaHood To Leave White House Post

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(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (L) looks on as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood explains plans for changes to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial where the Gateway Arch sits, during a press conference in East St. Louis in Dec. 2010.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only Republican still left in President Barack Obama's first-term Cabinet, says he plans to leave the Obama administration.

The former congressman from Illinois says in an interview with The Associated Press that he intends to remain at the department until his successor is confirmed.

LaHood's departure from the post was expected. Back in October, a spokeswoman said that LaHood would leave the post at the end of Obama's first term.

LaHood has helped the Obama administration steer through a number of safety measures and highway projects during the past four years. His record has included steps to curb distracted driving, promote high-speed rail projects and improve roads and bridges.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates also was a Republican.

LaHood says he will not run for public office in his home state of Illinois, saying he believes "you should go out while they're applauding."

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