Under the Dome

Jockeying begins to replace Tata

Tony Tata listens as his appointment as Secretary of Transportation is announced on Jan. 3, 2013.
Tony Tata listens as his appointment as Secretary of Transportation is announced on Jan. 3, 2013. cseward@newsobserver.com

One day after Tony Tata abruptly resigned as state transportation secretary, attention turned to who the governor would appoint to be his replacement to run the 14,000-employee department.

State Rep. Charles Jeter, a second-term Republican from Huntersville, says he is interested. So is the deputy secretary who will run the department in the interim, Nick Tennyson of Durham.

"I know the transportation issues here," Jeter said Wednesday. "I’ve been at the forefront of the issues. I’d be crazy if I said I didn’t have an interest in the job."

Jeter has been a prominent member of the House, especially on transportation matters. He runs a transportation, storage and warehousing logistics company that has more than 20,000 trucks across the U.S.

This year Jeter was named House GOP caucus conference chairman, responsible for fundraising, recruiting candidates and spreading money to various House races in upcoming elections.

Tennyson is a former mayor of Durham who made statewide connections when he helped form a metro mayors coalition. He was the executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham counties, before moving to the DOT in 2013.

Asked whether he was interested in the job, Tennyson issued a statement through his communications staff on Wednesday:

"It has been an honor to work side by side with Secretary Tony Tata to deliver many accomplishments under Gov. McCrory's vision for transportation. I continue to support that vision, and if asked by the governor to continue in this role, I would be proud to serve as Secretary of Transportation."  

 

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