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Transportation Secretary Mineta resigns

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Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta is resigning, effective July 7, the White House said Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, the only Democrat in the Bush Cabinet, is resigning next month.

White House spokesman Tony Snow made the announcement at the White House briefing on Friday. He said Mineta wasn't forced out of the job and that the president was "happy" with him.

"He has informed the president that after five and a half years he will be stepping down," Snow said, adding "that's a long time."

Mineta's resignation will be effective July 7.

His biography on the Transportation Department's Web site said he is "the longest serving secretary in the history of the U.S. Department of Transportation, becoming the 14th Secretary of Transportation on January 25, 2001."

Before he joined President Bush's administration, Mineta, 74, served as secretary of commerce under President Clinton.

"He was also the first Asian-American Cabinet member during the Clinton administration, and the first Cabinet member to switch directly from a Democratic to a Republican Cabinet," the bio said.

He was a member of the House from 1975 to 1995, representing a district in California's Silicon Valley.

"Secretary Mineta and his family were among the 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry forced from their homes and into internment camps during World War II," the biography said.

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