Obama to nominate McHugh as army secretary

President Obama will announce Tuesday morning that he is nominating GOP Rep. John McHugh to be secretary of the Army, according to the White House.

The president's nomination of the New York lawmaker is the latest in a series of efforts Obama has made to put Republicans in high-ranking positions in his administration.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, formerly a congressman from Illinois, is the highest-ranking Republican official in Obama's administration. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, though not a Republican, was nominated by GOP President George W. Bush and kept in place by Obama.

Obama also nominated Utah GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman as ambassador to China, and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) as Commerce secretary. Gregg initially accepted the nomination before changing his mind and remaining in the Senate.

McHugh's appointment is also a victory of sorts for Democrats, who have looked to target McHugh with little success. McHugh took 65 percent last year, even as President Obama took 52 percent of the vote in his upstate district.

An open-seat special election in the district should lead to a pitched campaign on both sides.

Democrats have also targeted Reps. Pete King and Chris Lee, the only other Republicans in the state's congressional delegation.

Aaron Blake contributed to this story.

This story was updated at 10:01 a.m.