If former Kansas Gov. Bill Graves is a front-runner for the job of Transportation Secretary in the Bush Administration, he's keeping quiet about it.
"We've seen the reports, and we're just not commenting on speculation," said Tiffany Wlazlowski, spokeswoman for the American Trucking Assn.
Graves currently serves as the association's CEO and lobbyist.
According to Reuters, The Washington Post and other media sources, Graves is considered the front-runner to replace outgoing Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.
Mineta resigned in June and was the only Democrat in the Bush administration.
Sources quoted in the Reuters story say the administration considered Graves a strong candidate for the Cabinet position.
Graves was governor from 1995 to 2003, and he previously served as Secretary of State in Kansas beginning in 1990.
During his eight-year tenure as governor, Graves convened a transportation study group, which led to the passage of the state's second Comprehensive Transportation Program in 1999. The program set out to improve transportation infrastructure.
Here in Kansas, Tom Whitaker said when it comes to transportation issues, Graves has the knowledge any administration would want.
Whitaker, executive director of the Kansas Motor Carriers Assn., said the association has been close to the Graves family since at least the 1930s.
"He's been involved in transportation since he was knee-high," Whitaker said.
Graves' father was a founder of the Graves trucking line, a family business based in Salina.
He said since Graves took over the ATA, the organization had improved greatly. The ATA Web site touts boosts in lobbying efforts for highway bills and advances in truck fleet safety.
"He's really turned that organization around because of his leadership," Whitaker said.
At the Kansas branch of the ATA, Whitaker said he has noticed the organization's turnaround since Graves took the helm nationally. The improvements have been so significant that Whitaker said he'd rather not see Graves leave his current post.
"Frankly, we'd rather him stay and continue what he's done here at the association," he said.