Senate confirms Biden's ex-rival Buttigieg as transportation sec'y

©Kyodo News

Pete Buttigieg, a former Democratic presidential candidate, was approved Tuesday to lead the Transportation Department, making him the first openly gay Senate-confirmed Cabinet secretary.

The 39-year-old raised his profile as a top-tier candidate in the 2020 presidential nomination race before dropping out and endorsing Joe Biden, who was later elected president.

Buttigieg served as mayor of his Midwestern hometown of South Bend, Indiana, for two terms until January 2020, working to revitalize what was once called one of America's "dying cities."

He is expected to play a key role in pushing ahead with Biden's "Build Back Better" economic vision by improving infrastructure, creating jobs and addressing climate change issues.