‘Mayor Pete’ joins 2020 Dem race as face of new generation
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Pete Buttigieg, the little-known Indiana mayor who has risen to prominence in the early stages of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, made his official campaign entrance Sunday by claiming the mantle of a youthful generation ready to reshape the country.
“I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor,” he said to cheers of “Pete, Pete, Pete” from an audience assembled in a former Studebaker auto plant. “More than a little bold, at age 37, to seek the highest office in the land.” In the hours after his announcement, more than $1 million in donations poured in, said Lis Smith, speaking for the campaign.
The South Bend mayor, a Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan War veteran who has been essentially campaigning since January, has joined a dozen-plus rivals vying to take on President Donald Trump.
“The forces of change in our country today are tectonic,” he said. “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.”
Financial support from the LGBT community has helped Buttigieg defy expectations by raking in more than $7 million in just over two months. The money has come from grassroots supporters like Burrell and big-dollar Hollywood donors who hope Buttigieg will make history — or at least the summer debate stage.