Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is the latest Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race.
Buttigieg announced Wednesday morning that he was forming an exploratory committee, a rite of passage for presidential candidates. The 37-year-old will try to become the first openly gay president in American history. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Gay Trump Supporters Set The Record Straight)
Buttigieg’s campaign released an announcement video, touting his accomplishments as mayor, while advertising himself as part of a “new generation” of leaders. He also appears to take a swipe at President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.
I launched a presidential exploratory committee because it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future. Are you ready to walk away from the politics of the past?
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 23, 2019
“There is no again in the real world,” Buttigieg said. “We can’t look for greatness in the past.”
Buttigieg’s video indicated that he plans to run as a candidate ready to lead the country into the future.
“There’s a new generation of voices emerging in our country,” he said.
Buttigieg is considered a rising star in the Democratic party, and previously ran for chair of the Democratic National Committee, with the election eventually being won by former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. Buttigieg was first elected in 2011 at the age of 29, becoming the youngest mayor ever of a major city in the U.S. Buttigieg came out as gay in a 2015 column.
His latest announcement drew praise from the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a group that works to elect LGBTQ people to office.
HUGE NEWS: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced he will form an exploratory committee to run for U.S. president, becoming the first openly LGBTQ elected official in history to do so! https://t.co/Kipf3bkuYF
— Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) January 23, 2019
The Republican National Committee released a statement saying that Buttigieg should focus on the problems surrounding South Bend, before he runs for president.
“Before Buttigieg wastes time on a presidential campaign, he should focus on his town’s sea of potholes and sky-high crime rate,” RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens said. “His bid isn’t just bad news for residents, it’s more proof that Democrats are about to endure the most crowded, divisive, and contentious primary in history.”