Pete Buttigieg, the 37-Year-Old Mayor of South Bend, Is Also Running for President – NTK Network Pete Buttigieg, the 37-Year-Old Mayor of South Bend, Is Also Running for President

Pete Buttigieg, the 37-Year-Old Mayor of South Bend, Is Also Running for President

If you’re a Democrat and you’re not running for president in 2020, can you even call yourself a Democrat?

By NTK Staff | 01.23.2019 @3:00pm
Pete Buttigieg, the 37-Year-Old Mayor of South Bend, Is Also Running for President

The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, announced Wednesday he’s forming an exploratory committee to run for president, according to the Associated Press.

Buttigieg, a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve who served in Afghanistan in 2014, would become the first openly gay presidential nominee, should he win the Democrats’ nomination next year.

But his odds are long. He ran to be chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2017 but dropped out of the race when it became clear he did not have the votes to win. It’s not clear what’s changed since then, but he has spent time in early voting states to help boost his national profile.

Buttigieg has spent time in Iowa and other battleground states in recent years as he tried to build financial support and name recognition. He cracks that those who do know his name still aren’t sure how to pronounce it. (It’s BOO’-tah-juhj.) Most of the time he goes by “Mayor Pete.”

Buttigieg is likely to run primarily as a Millennial who oversaw a turnaround of his mid-sized Indiana city, South Bend. He hits on those points in an announcement video:

“The reality is there’s no going back, and there’s no such thing as ‘again’ in the real world. We can’t look for greatness in the past,” Buttigieg says in a video that includes before-and-after footage of South Bend, a Rust Belt city once described as “dying.”

“Right now our country needs a fresh start,” he says.

Given the current and expected field of 2020 candidates, Buttigieg will have his work cut out for him. Candidates in the mold of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) already have a national fundraising apparatus; former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is committed to self-financing his likely candidacy; and former Vice President Joe Biden currently leads the field in favorability and name ID.

Buttigieg will need to overcome all of those obstacles by assembling a top-notch team and outworking the competition. Can he do it? Keep your eyes on Iowa, where Buttigieg is expected to visit next week, followed by a trip to New Hampshire.

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