President Barack Obama has nominated former Mississippi governor, Ray Mabus, to be the Secretary of the Navy. The White House made the announcement in a statement Friday.
The 60-year-old Democrat campaigned extensively for Obama last year.
Mabus served in the Navy from 1970-72 as a surface warfare officer on the Newport, R.I.-based USS Little Rock.
The secretary is the civilian leader of the service and is responsible for everything from recruiting and mobilizing to overseeing the construction and repair of ships, equipment and facilities. His nomination still must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The nomination has drawn praise from Democrats and Republicans. U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson says he's pleased to see a fellow Mississippi Democrat chosen for the Navy's top civilian job.
Both of Mississippi's Republican U.S. senators, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, say they'll support Mabus' confirmation.
Mabus was Mississippi governor from 1988-92 and U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1994-96, appointed by President Bill Clinton.
Mabus and Thompson were Mississippi co-chairmen for Obama's presidential campaign in 2008.
As chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Thompson said he will work with Mabus "to keep our shores safe and work with our allies around the world."