Reuters and other news organizations reported Tuesday that Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, IN, would be selected for the post, as the President-elect fills out the remainder of his cabinet. Biden’s team later confirmed the report. Others who had reportedly been under consideration for the post were Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Buttigieg would be the first openly gay, Senate-confirmed, cabinet-level official. Ric Grenell was the first LGBTQ official to serve in the cabinet when he was selected by Donald Trump to serve as acting director of national intelligence, but he did not face Senate confirmation for the post.
Buttigieg’s longshot presidential bid surprised much of the political world last year as he rose to the top tier of contenders, particularly in donor circles in Los Angeles and New York. He narrowly won the Iowa caucuses, but was unable to build that victory into further wins in other early states. He dropped out two days before Super Tuesday and endorsed Biden on the eve of that vote.
During the presidential campaign, Buttigieg was a prolific surrogate for the Democratic ticket.
The post would be new for Buttigieg, who has little Washington experience and will oversee a department that is vastly larger than the government of South Bend.