Ray LaHood, a former U.S. Representative from Illinois (1994-2008), served as the Secretary of Transportation under President Barack Obama
from 2009-13. He led a 60,000-employee agency that regulates American aviation, highways, railroads, public transit, seaways, traffic safety and pipelines, among other modes of transportation. Until his nomination by Obama, Ray LaHood's most prominent moment as a member of Congress came in 1998, when he presided over House impeachment hearings for President Bill Clinton
. Previously, he served in the Illinois House of Representatives in 1982 and 1983, and, before and after that period, as an aide to other Illinois congressional representatives (1977-1982 and 1983-1994). Ray LaHood was the only Republican Obama cabinet nominee who has served in elective office; Defense Secretary Robert Gates
continued from the Bush Administration.