50 Mayors endorse South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg for President
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Few people ever expected a small town mayor in a presidential race.
When South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg announces he’d be running for president back in April, critics said he’d be a long shot.
“There were a lot of people thinking ‘Is he crazy? What the mayor of south bend running for President? That’s not going to work, he won’t get anywhere well he is somewhere,” said Jack Colwell, a political columnist in South Bend.
Buttigieg is high in the polls with Politico showing him only with fiver percent of the vote, but among the top five democratic candidates. His campaign raising $19 million in quarter three.
Just in September, 50 mayors across the nation endorsed Buttigieg for president and nine of those are from Indiana.
Michigan City’s Ron Meer is one of those Mayors.
“He knows what we need from the federal government down to the cities,” said Mayor Meer.
Cities like Michigan City and Logansport, where Mayor Dave Kitchell said they’ve looked to mirror Buttigieg’s success in what once was called “a dying city.”
“Pete has managed to rally his troops to reinvest in south bend and to bring a sense of community back to a lot of areas that didn’t even have it before 2008,” said Mayor Kitchell. “And now they are better off than they were before.”
But Mayor Buttigieg’s journey to build a 21st century city has met 21st century problems. A spike in gun violence this past summer, and in front of the nation, Buttigieg faced his biggest challenge yet: restoring peace in the community after a officer involved shooting.
“Now if you’re a United States senator or governor perhaps you wouldn’t face something like that a shooting in the city,” said Colwell. “But he’s mayor of the city he’s the captain of the ship and so when something goes wrong in the city he’s got to face that and deal with it.”
Colwell does not believe the endorsements from the 50 mayors makes a difference, due to the small population sizes of the cities. Meer said Buttigieg’s time as a mayor and not in Washington D.C., like many candidates a part of Ohio’s primary debate, should appeal to voters.
“Many of these folks that if they’re sitting in Washington DC I think that they’re detached from what reality is many times they’re not out on a day to day basis like a Mayor is,” said Meer.