Pierrepont Manor, NY, Jun 02, 2009 — President Barack Obama has chosen Republican congressman John McHugh to be the new secretary of the army, adding to the ranks of opposition party figures in his administration. Obama said that McHugh, who has represented northern New York -- including Ft. Drum -- since 1993, is committed to keeping America's army "the best trained, the best equipped, the best land force the world has ever seen."
The president said that in his new job, McHugh will make sure the country's troops can handle the new kinds of combat in the 21st century, including non-conventional warfare. McHugh has been a key member of the House Armed Services Committee. Obama said that as secretary, McHugh also will understand the needs of America's servicemen and women.
There's immediate speculation about who might replace McHugh in Congress if he's confirmed as secretary of the Army. The 23rd CD is rural and heavily Republican. McHugh's replacement in Congress will likely be decided by a special election. NCPR will have more on this story during All Before Five.