Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg jumps into 2020 race

1 year 1 month 22 hours ago Wednesday, January 23 2019 Jan 23, 2019 Wednesday, January 23, 2019 8:45:00 AM CST January 23, 2019 in News
By: Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) -- Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who served in the Navy during the war in Afghanistan, announced on Wednesday that he is launching an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid.

Buttigieg made the announcement in an email to supporters and in a video posted online where he lays out his message of generational change centered on three values: Freedom, security and democracy. In that video, Buttigieg leans into how he took over South Bend when he was 29 years old and claims he turned around what had been referred to as a "dying city."

"There's a new generation of voices emerging in our country, walking away from the politics of the past and ready to deliver on our priorities. There is no 'again' in the real world; that's not a bad thing," Buttigieg says in the video. "We are ready for a fresh start."

Buttigieg's 2020 argument is that he would like to do the same for the country that he did for South Bend, even if he knows the odds are against him, and that the only way to accomplish change like that is through a generational shift in American politics.

"What will America look like in 2054, when I reach the age of the current president," he asked in his email to supporters. "How will we look back on 2020?"

Buttigieg, who most recently ran for chair of the Democratic National Committee after the 2016 election, has been exploring a presidential bid for over a year, moving closer with a trip to Iowa in December where he was well received by an audience of progressives in Des Moines.

The mayor, who has little national name recognition and could struggle to get attention in a crowded field including heavyweights like Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Buttigieg acknowledged his long odds in his email to supporters.

"I am aware of the odds we would face if we proceed to mount a national campaign. But I am exploring this run because I can offer a different experience and perspective than anyone else," he wrote. "And I believe that at a moment like this, underdog campaigns will go further than the establishment would normally allow when it comes to bold ideas that can truly meet the threats and opportunities coming our way."

Republicans quickly blasted Buttigieg's announcement, suggesting his leadership of South Bend does not merit a presidential run.

"Before Buttigieg wastes time on a presidential campaign, he should focus on his town's sea of potholes and sky-high crime rate," said Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. "His bid isn't just bad news for residents, it's more proof that Democrats are about to endure the most crowded, divisive, and contentious primary in history."

Buttigieg will further explain his plans at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday morning.

Buttigieg was born and raised in South Bend and went on to attend Harvard College and later became a Rhodes scholar. After a three-year stint at the consulting firm McKinsey and Company, Buttigieg came back to Indiana and lost a race for state treasurer in 2010. The race helped him with his name recognition in the state, however, and he successfully won his first term as mayor of South Bend in 2011. Buttigieg was first deployed to Afghanistan two years later in 2013.

Another issue for the mayor's bid is how to pronounce his last name, something that has become a bit of a running joke between he and his husband, Chasten, who tweeted a list of possible pronunciations in 2018 that included "boot-edge-edge," "buddha-judge" and "boot-a-judge."

(Buttigieg's name is Maltese and roughly translates to "lord of the poultry.")

Buttigieg, who came out in 2015, will also be the first openly LGBTQ elected official to run for President, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

In an interview with CNN in December, Buttigieg wondered if his sexuality would be an issue for more conservative Democrats.

"The only way to know is to get out there," he said. "I will say I got re-elected with 80% of the vote after I had come out while Mike Pence was governor of Indiana. I don't think these things decide your fate."

But the party has shifted dramatically on same-sex marriage over the last decade, with a Gallup poll in 2018 finding that 83% of Democrats support it.

Annise Parker, the openly gay former mayor of Houston and President of LGBTQ Victory Fund, called Buttigieg's announcement "a historic and powerful moment for the LGBTQ community and the entire country."

"In such a wide-open presidential race, Mayor Buttigieg would be a welcome contribution to the marketplace of ideas that will determine where our nation is headed in 2020 and beyond," she said. "And while he is not running on his sexual orientation, his presence will undoubtedly elevate LGBTQ issues in the Democratic primary."

And after his speech in Iowa in December, a number of attendees commented that they appreciated that he embraced who he was and made it part of his broader story.

"I like that Mayor Pete guy," one woman standing near the elevator was overheard by CNN. "He's gay and going places."

Buttigieg's first book, "Shortest Way Home," will come out in March and will serve as an explanation for his longshot 2020 bid. The subtitle of the book is "One mayor's challenge and a model for America's future," and the youthful-looking Buttigieg is on the cover rolling up his sleeves.

Buttigieg told CNN last year that despite his long odds, he felt like he had to give running for president a shot.

"A field that is spread very thin probably works to the advantage of a newcomer if you are very good at it," he said with a smile. "The only way to find out is to be tested in the field."

More News

Grid
List
BRUNSWICK - After a year of record-breaking flooding, neighbors in Brunswick hope they don't see a repeat this summer. ... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 8:22:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in News
LINN - A lot of the times it's hard to know the affect you'll have on someone until after it's... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:08:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in Sports
BOONVILLE — Community members in Boonville gathered Sunday in support of moving the Boonslick Regional Library (BRL) Cooper County Branch... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 6:15:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in News
AP — State attorneys general are finding a national settlement over the toll of opioids to be elusive, as some... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 11:17:32 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of boy scouts and girl scouts showed up for water safety event at Hickman High School Sunday... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 10:34:00 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
SEDALIA — A 49-year-old man was taken to the University of Missouri hospital via air ambulance after sustaining a gunshot... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 9:25:40 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
FULTON - Police arrested a 44 year old Fulton man after he attempted to unlawfully enter a home twice, assaulted... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 6:10:00 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
SEDALIA- Police officers in Sedalia responded to a report of a man lying in the roadway near the 700 block... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 11:01:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of MU students gathered to raise money for cancer research Saturday. Mizzou's Relay for Life raised... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 6:41:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Police arrested three people after a Saturday afternoon robbery led to a car chase, according to a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 5:46:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri voters legalized medical marijuana in 2018, but some lawmakers are worried about what that could... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:53:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri may have shed its unwanted image as the meth lab capital of the U.S.,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is getting a break from winter weather this weekend and many residents are taking advantage of it.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
REEDS SPRING, Mo. – Students in the Reeds Spring School District will begin a four-day school week next school... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:11:55 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA – Several First Ward neighborhood associations hosted a town hall forum Saturday with city council candidates to discuss housing,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:07:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
Black LGBTQ youth are less likely to receive mental health... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 3:51:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA — In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government has canceled a number of exams this... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:56:57 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— A Columbia chiropractic office hosted a seminar to educate and empower women Saturday afternoon. The event was part of... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:13:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
12am 48°
1am 47°
2am 45°
3am 44°