U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta announced his resignation Friday, June 23. The 74-year-old Mineta – who's the only Democrat in President Bush's cabinet – did not cite a specific reason.
In his resignation letter, Mineta says he will “move on to other challenges.”
Mineta has served on the cabinets of both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Prior to joining President Bush's administration as Secretary of Transportation, Mineta served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton.
He was also the first Asian-American Cabinet member during the Clinton administration, and the first Cabinet member to switch directly from a Democratic to a Republican Cabinet. In December 2004, Mineta accepted President Bush's invitation to continue his service in the Cabinet during the President's second term.
Transportation safety issues have been high priorities to Mineta during his entire political career, one that began in 1967 on the City Council of San Jose, CA. In 1974, he was elected to the U.S. Congress and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 21 years. He chaired the House Public Works and Transportation Committee between 1992 and 1994.
“During those times, he made frequent appearances at transportation events as a keynote speaker,” recalled OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston. “He was a very different kind of speaker in that he did not leave when he was done speaking, but took a chair in the audience and actually took notes on what the other speakers were saying. He was a student of transportation, and that commitment resulted in an accomplished career.”
Johnston said he has known Mineta for years and considers him to be one of the most experienced and qualified transportation secretaries to ever serve the nation.
Johnston said OOIDA didn't always agree with Mineta, but that the Association's leadership respected his grasp of trucking industry issues.
Mineta's resignation is effective July 7.
– Land Line staff