Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only Republican still in President Barack Obama's first-term Cabinet, said Tuesday he plans to leave the Obama administration.
LaHood, a former congressman from Illinois, pushed for greater safety on the highways and in the air. He led the Transportation Department throughout Obama's first term and helped steer a number of safety measures and highway projects, including steps to curb distracted driving, promote high-speed rail and repair roads and bridges. Under his watch, the department demanded tougher fuel efficiency requirements for automakers and took steps to address airline pilot fatigue.
LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press that he told Obama a week after the November election that he needed to move on but said he was still "conflicted" by his decision because he liked working for Obama and considered it the "best job I've ever had in public service."