Ray LaHood steps down as U.S. secretary of transportation image

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced he is stepping down.

67-year-old LaHood, one of two Republicans to serve in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, announced his plan in a meeting with top staff members at the Transportation Department’s headquarters in Washington.

LaHood said he’ll stay for a few months until a successor is confirmed by the U.S. Senate. ”As I look back on the past four years, I am proud of what we have accomplished together in so many important areas,” LaHood said today in an e-mailed statement cited by Bloomberg.

His future had been unclear as Obama assembles other Cabinet members for his second term. “Years ago, we were drawn together by a shared belief that those of us in public service owe an allegiance not to party or faction, but to the people we were elected to represent. And Ray has never wavered in that belief,” the U.S. President said in an e-mailed statement.

During his time as head of the Department of Transportation, Ray LaHood focused mostly on distracted driving. He spoke of the dangers caused by texting and driving, but avoided criticizing infotainment systems installed in cars in recent years. LaHood didn’t talk about who may replace him, according to people familiar with the staff meeting.