Democrat Pete Buttigieg, 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced that he is forming an exploratory committee for a potential 2020 bid for president. The announcement was made in a video and e-mail saying, “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…Right now our country needs a fresh start.”
If he were to win the Democratic nomination, he would become the first openly gay presidential nominee for a major party.
“I belong to a generation that is stepping forward right now,” he says in the video released Wednesday. “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.”
Buttigieg believes that his qualifications come from his work revitalizing South Bend, Indiana—a city that was once described as “dying.” Buttigieg became mayor of the city in 2011 when he was just 29, which made him that youngest elected mayor of a city with at least 100,000 people. He also served a tour in Afghanistan as a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve.
Buttigieg came out as gay in an article in the local paper in 2015, before the Supreme Court made its final decision on gay and lesbian marriage in the country. He married his partner at city hall in 2018.
Buttigieg will travel to New Hampshire next week to begin to meet with potential voters.
You can learn more about the candidate by visiting his official website.