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Northam's new transportation secretary is Lynchburg-area Transportation Board member

Ralph Northam announced his choice of Shannon Valentine on Wednesday, saying he’s committed to improving the state’s thorny transportation issues (Photo: Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam has named a former House delegate and current member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board as his secretary of transportation.

Northam announced his choice of Shannon Valentine on Wednesday, saying he’s committed to improving the state’s thorny transportation issues.

Valentine represented the Lynchburg area in the state House from 2006 to 2010 and is from the area.

Transportation has been a key policy issue for several past governors, as some of the state’s urban and suburban areas have some of the worst traffic in the country.

She served as a member of Courts of Justice and House Transportation Committees, and led the bipartisan effort to invest in intercity passenger rail service for the first time in Virginia’s history, according to the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board's website.

Northam also named Stephen Brich, an engineer from Hampton Roads, as commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation. Jennifer Mitchell, who is currently the director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, will stay on in that role.

Valentine is married to Dr. Mike Valentine, and has three children, Catherine, Jack and Brooke.

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