October 14, 2011 11:00 AM, EDT
LaHood Says He Will Step Down After 2012
LaHood (L) with FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro and ATA President Bill Graves — TT File Photo

WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday he will step down from his position if President Obama is re-elected.

LaHood said he has not told the president of his decision.

“He’s never asked me,” LaHood told Transport Topics after a speech at the National Press Club, adding: “This has been a great run. I’ve enjoyed it.”

A former Republican congressman from Peoria, Ill., LaHood quashed speculation that he might return to his home state to run for governor, saying he would not again run for public office.

“I’ve going to finish this out and then we’ll see what happens,” LaHood said. “I think I’ll have some wonderful opportunities, so we’ll see where it takes me.”

The secretary said he was retiring from his 14-year career in Congress when a newly elected President Obama offered him the post.

LaHood said he was thrilled with the opportunity because he had always wanted to see what it was like on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in the executive branch.