The campaign to chair the Democratic Party got a new competitor this week.
The latest to throw his hat into the ring is Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg, a gay man, served overseas in Afghanistan as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
“I am a Democrat because I believe in defending freedom, fairness, families and the future,” Buttigieg writes on his website, petefordnc.com
The 34-year-old Buttigieg is a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard graduate who is in his second term as Mayor of South Bend, a rust belt city and home to Notre Dame University.
“I don’t think there’s a silver bullet to the party’s issues, but I do think there’s an opportunity, especially with a perspective that comes from state or local government, and from a part of the country where Democrats absolutely should be winning races, and haven’t been,” Buttigieg told CNN.
Buttigieg joins a crowded field in the race to chair one of America’s two major political parties. Others who have announced their intentions are: outgoing U.S. Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez, U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, South Carolina chairman Jaime Harrison and New Hampshire chairman Ray Buckley. Buckley, like Buttigieg, is openly gay.
The chair became vacant with the resignation of South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who held the position since 2011. Democrats are gathering in Phoenix next week for the party’s first regional forum.