McHugh's nomination continues the Obama Administration's practice of plucking moderate Republicans for cabinet-level seats.
Shortly after the news of McHugh's nomination, area politicians praised the President's choice.
"As a senator and assemblywoman, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Congressman John McHugh on many issues important to the North Country," said state Sen. Elizabeth O'C. Little, R-Queensbury. "He has always come through with help whenever I asked. I have valued our friendship as much as our professional relationship.
"Today's news of his nomination as Secretary of the Army is very exciting," Little continued. "While I am going to miss having him represent and serve our region, I am looking forward to seeing him serve our entire nation. His credentials and his leadership ability are superb and I have no doubt in his ability to do a tremendous job."
McHugh will likely begin the Senate confirmation process over the next week.