Latest national profile of Mayor Pete well received in Michiana

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- “The President of Nowhere, USA” is how South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is described in the Friday cover of Politico Magazine. But Michiana residents say the national recognition outweighs the headline.

The lengthy piece, published Friday morning, says, “Pete Buttigieg could be the Democrats’ savior – if he can only find his way out of South Bend.”

ABC57’s Taylor Popielarz spent the day asking people in downtown South Bend what they thought of the piece.

“Well, he’s done such a good job,” said Luis Morales, a lifelong South Bend resident. “I’d hate to have to lose him, you know? But he should be – he should go up. And the Democrats really need a guy like him.”

“It doesn’t sound very complimentary to South Bend, frankly,” said Andrea Halpin, a St. Joseph County resident. “But I do think that he’s not going to have a great political career in the state, given it’s traditionally Republican, unless there’s some changes. So he would have to probably go somewhere else.”

The Politico piece talks about topics we report on daily – Smart Streets, 3-1-1, and 1,000 homes in 1,000 days.

It also mentioned that in South Bend, 32-percent of residents are living in poverty and 75-percent of public school students currently eat free or reduced lunch.

The profile is another national mention for Buttigieg – who has been featured in the New York Times and singled out by former President Barack Obama as a standout in the party.

In downtown South Bend on Friday, passersby said the latest article came as no surprise.

“I’m enjoying while he’s around,” said Zach Lesh, a Mishawaka resident. “I definitely am a little afraid of when he leaves. But I think right now, it’s great.”

“I think he’s probably destined for bigger things,” said Adam Richman, a Bremen resident. “I don’t probably agree with him politically on a lot of things, but yeah, I definitely can see him being the future of the Democrat Party.”

The article also highlights something you may not know.

Buttigieg told the author his office in the aging County-City Building is prone to leaks. And he said in the piece that the occasional ‘pigeon massacre’ happens outside his window.

It was just last year that Buttigieg ran to become chair of the Democratic Party; a race that ended up bringing him back home.

The general consensus from people on Friday, though, seemed to be that Buttigieg will be leaving South Bend again someday.

“He has a good brain and he would be one of the best – maybe someday he could become president,” Morales said. “You never know.”

ABC57 reached out on Friday to the head engineer of the County-City Building to ask about the leaks Buttigieg mentioned in the piece. As of Friday evening, we’ve not heard back.

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