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Minnesota delegation Democrats want Oberstar as transportation secretary

WASHINGTON — The seven Democrats in the Minnesota congressional delegation want former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar to be the next Transportation Secretary.

The group signed a letter to President Obama asking him to appoint the former 8th District congressman to the post. Current secretary Ray LaHood announced his retirement last month, and Oberstar said he'd be interested in taking over, if asked.

The letter, sent last week, boasts of Oberstar's accomplishments as the lead Democrat on the House Transportation Committee, including passing 200 bills during his two-term tenure as chairman.

"Here in Congress and throughout our nation, Jim Oberstar is recognized as a preeminent leader whose understanding of the complex and challenging transportation, infrastructure and aviation issues we face is simply unmatched," the group wrote.

In an email, an aide to U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, who holds Oberstar's old seat, said, "We are hearing a lot of support for him in different circles and the Minnesota members wanted to make sure their support was known."

The letter can be found here.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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