- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie’s pick to head New Jersey’s Transportation Department has been confirmed by the state Senate.

It means Democrat Jamie Fox is returning to a position he also held when Jim McGreevey was governor.

Fox’s nomination flew through the state Senate on Monday. The judiciary committee cleared him and then the full Senate confirmed him.

Christie nominated Fox last week, days after a coalition of business, consumer and transportation groups called for the state to find a permanent way to fund the depleted Transportation Trust Fund for road and transit projects.

In his confirmation hearing, Fox told senators that all options were on the table for accomplishing that goal - including a gas tax hike.

Christie said last week that he was considering all options, though he would not say specifically that a gas tax was among them when he was asked at a news conference.

Christie, a Republican who is considering running for president in 2016, has previously opposed major tax increases.

Fox had the support of many groups that follow transportation.

“New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure and the Transportation Trust Fund are serious issues that need to be concentrated on immediatel, and today’s vote is a great step toward finding sustainable and reliable solutions to these challenges,” said Tom Bracken, the president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the chairman of Forward NJ, the group promoting focus on transportation projects.

His group last week presented a report calling for major upgrades.

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