South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to run for president
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, January 23, 2019
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a member of the Democratic party, announced in a video Wednesday morning that he is forming an exploratory committee as he considers running for president in the 2020 election. Buttigieg was first elected mayor of South Bend in 2011 and won re-election in 2015. In December, he stated he would not seek a third term.
“I belong to a generation that is stepping forward right now,” Buttigieg said in the video. “We’re the generation that lived through school shootings, that served in the wars after 9/11 and we’re the generation that stands to be the first to make less than our parents unless we do something different. We can’t just polish off a system so broken. It is a season for boldness and a focus on the future.”
The announcement follows Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris’ decision to run for office Monday. Buttigieg, a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve and former Rhodes Scholar, is the ninth Democrat to enter the race so far.
During his time as South Bend’s mayor, Buttigieg has visited Notre Dame’s campus on multiple occasions, including to address the College Democrats and speak to classes about his work. Additionally, Buttigieg and the city of South Bend partnered with the University and the city of Elkhart to begin IDEA Week, an annual week-long event that, according to the event’s press release, “celebrates innovation, entrepreneurs and the incubation of new ideas.”
If he wins the presidential race, Buttigieg would be the youngest elected president at the age of 38. He would also become the country’s first openly gay president.
Buttigieg’s bid for the presidency follows a failed run in 2017 for Democratic National Committee chairman. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that he plans to make visits to Iowa and New Hampshire in the coming weeks in preparation for the first primary caucuses in February of 2020.