President Barack Obama ended months of speculation by naming Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as his nominee to be the next secretary of transportation.
In a White House announcement Monday afternoon, the president called Foxx "impressive" and a "friend" and pointed to Foxx's support of Charlotte's streetcar project, successful airport and light rail as credentials for the new job.
Foxx smiled broadly as he stood next to the president. He told an audience that he hopes to be confirmed and to be able to work with Republicans and Democrats.
"We must work together across party lines to enhance this nation's infrastructure," Foxx said.
Foxx's nomination also gives a high profile once again to the city of Charlotte. After helping bring the Democratic National Convention to the city last summer, political experts say Charlotte could benefit again.
"I think Charlotte really needs to accept the fact that, hey, we're in the big leagues now. This is a major city that produces results," said Dr. Michael Bitzer, a political expert from Catawba College.
Bitzer also said Foxx could parlay his contacts and national exposure into a possible run for statewide office in North Carolina.
He points out that both the U.S. Senate seat of Republican Sen. Richard Burr and the governor's office will be on the ballot in 2016.
Before Foxx can take over as transportation secretary, he'll have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Those hearings could begin next month.