LaHood skipping Democratic convention

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is not attending the convention in Charlotte, N.C., to nominate President Obama for a second term this week.

DOT officials said LaHood, who is a Republican member of Obama’s cabinet, is forgoing attending either party’s convention in 2012. The GOP held its convention to nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney last week in Tampa, Fla.

LaHood has said he supports Obama’s bid for reelection but that he will likely step down in 2013, even if Obama wins in November. LaHood held an Illinois House seat before Obama tapped him to be Transportation secretary in 2009.

The chairman of the 2012 Democratic convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate to replace LaHood if he does step down.