House colleagues respected LaHood for his grasp of issues and parliamentary details, but he sometimes angered Republican leaders by refusing to follow the party line. He was best known as a House appropriator, and has less experience in transportation issues than do some other contenders Obama reportedly considered.
Source: Obama picks LaHood as transportation chief
CHICAGO(AP) - December 17, 2008 The 63-year-old LaHood did not seek re-election this fall after 14 years in the House representing a district that includes Peoria. He is the second Republican that Obama has named to his Cabinet.