“MAYOR” Pete Buttigieg has become the latest Democrat to join the 2020 US presidential race – as he hopes to become the first openly gay major White House contender.
The little-known Indiana mayor has risen to prominence in the early stages of the 2020 Democratic candidacy battle.
Pete Buttigieg, 37, would be the youngest and first openly gay president should he succeed in 2020[/caption]
Pete Buttigieg is joined by his husband Chasten Glezman on the stage in South Bend, Indiana on Sunday[/caption]
He made his official campaign entrance Sunday by claiming to front a youthful generation ready to reshape the country.
At the age of 37, he would be the youngest US president in history should he take office in over a year’s time.
He said: “I recognise the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor.
“More than a little bold, at age 37, to seek the highest office in the land.”
Meanwhile, crowds chanted “Pete, Pete, Pete” at a former car factory in South Bend, Indiana – where he is mayor, an office that also serves as his nickname.
SCHOLAR AND FIGHTER
Buttigieg is a Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan War veteran who has been essentially campaigning since January.
He is among a dozen-plus rivals vying to take on President Donald Trump.
The young hopefull added: “The forces of change in our country today are tectonic.
“Forces that help to explain what made this current presidency even possible.
“That’s why, this time, it’s not just about winning an election it’s about winning an era.”
Buttigieg will return this week to Iowa and New Hampshire, which hold the nation’s first nominating contests, to campaign as a full-fledged candidate now being taken more seriously.
Over the past few months, Buttigieg has appeared frequently on national TV news and talk shows.
He has also developed a strong social media following with his message that the country needs “a new generation of leadership.”
Buttigieg’s poll numbers have climbed. Some polls put him behind only Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet said he’s running.
Buttigieg’s campaign has raised more than $7 million in the first three months of this year, a total eclipsed by Sanders’ leading $18 million.
Buttigieg would be the first openly gay nominee of a major presidential party.
He married his husband, Chasten, last year.
He would be the first mayor to go directly to the White House.
And he would be the youngest person to become president, turning 39 the day before the next inauguration, on Jan. 20, 2021.
Theodore Roosevelt was 42 when he took office – while John F. Kennedy was 43 and Bill Clinton 46.
TAKING ON TRUMP
Buttigieg says the best way for Democrats to defeat Trump may be to nominate a mayor experienced in helping to revive a Midwestern city once described as “dying,” rather than a politician who has spent years “marinating” in Washington.
He has criticised Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” saying the way to move the country forward is not to look backward or cling to an old way of life.
Buttigieg said: “There’s a myth being sold to industrial and rural communities: the myth that we can stop the clock and turn it back.
“It comes from people who think the only way to reach communities like ours is through resentment and nostalgia, selling an impossible promise of returning to a bygone era that was never as great as advertised to begin with.”
The South Bend fire marshal’s office said the rally drew over 4,500 inside and 1,500 outside.
Tom Lacy, 62, said: “I like that he’s young.
“He’s so relatable. He doesn’t seem like a politician to me.”
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He added: “The contrast between him and our current president is unbelievable.”
Nausher Ahmad Sial, a 68-year-old developer from South Bend, said “we need to try new blood.”
Sial, who came to the U.S. from Pakistan 35 years ago, said he has worked with Buttigieg on development projects in the city and described the mayor as a “very honest, very fair guy.”
Buttigieg is a Rhodes scholar and Afghan war veteran[/caption]
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