FAA Head, Virginia Official Likely to Get Major Administration Posts

Sources close to the Bush Administration said that the President would soon name — possibly today, in fact — Federal Aviation Administrator Marion C. Blakey as the new secretary of transportation. In addition, the same sources told me that Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sean Connaughton would take over the helm the Federal Maritime Administration, in the news of late because of the controversy over the proposed Dubai Ports deal.

Blakey, who served in the Department of Commerce, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other government agencies during the first Bush Administration, was also chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. In 2002, she became the 15th head of the Federal Aviation Administration. If confirmed by the Senate, Blakey will succeed retiring Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta.

Moderate Republican Connaughton, one of the closest political allies of House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R.-Va.), lost a primary race for lieutenant governor of Virginia last year. Davis reportedly pressed hard for his anticipated appointment to the maritime agency.