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WATCH: South Bend's Pete Buttigieg announces he's running for president


SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend's Pete Buttigieg made it official at Studebaker Building 84 Sunday afternoon.

"My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete. I'm a proud son of South Bend Indiana and I am running for President of the United States."

The Studebaker building was filled to capacity and a crowd gathered outside to view the announcement on a large screen.

Buttigieg announced in January he was forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run.

Since then, he has been on national news networks, talk shows and participated in a CNN Town Hall on March 10.

On Friday, he removed 'exploratory' from the committee name.

Rev. Brian Grantz from Cathedral of Saint James Episcopal Church started off Sunday's event.

Mayor Nan Whaley, of Dayton, Ohio, spoke after Rev. Grantz. She said the nation needs new leadership and said he is the opposite of the current president.

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento talked about his friendship with Pete and what's it's like to also be a gay mayor of a large city.

Journalist Renee Ferguson, from Chicago, spoke about the summer Pete lived with her and her husband while he was an intern.

Pete and his husband Chasten then spoke with the crowd outside the venue and thanked them for attending. He said he was moved so many people were waiting outside in the bad weather to see the announcement.

Rev. Brian Grantz from Cathedral of Saint James Episcopal Church started off Sunday's event.

Mayor Nan Whaley, of Dayton, Ohio, spoke after Rev. Grantz. She said the nation needs new leadership and said he is the opposite of the current president.

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento talked about his friendship with Pete and what's it's like to also be a gay mayor of a large city.

Journalist Renee Ferguson, from Chicago, spoke about the summer Pete lived with her and her husband while he was an intern.

Pete and his husband Chasten then spoke with the crowd outside the venue and thanked them for attending. He said he was moved so many people were waiting outside in the bad weather to see the announcement.

Julie Chismar of St. Joseph High School spoke about knowing Buttigieg as a student and as his interest in politics grew.

Mayor Steve Adler, of Austin, Texas, spoke about choosing Mayor Pete as his mentor.

Mayor Adler then introduced Pete Buttigieg to the crowd.

Pete thanked the crowd for coming to his announcement, whether they're from South Bend or traveled a long distance.

He says some believed the only way to have a good life was to get out. But some came back.

He wanted things to change. When South Bend was called a dying city by national news outlets, he said it was a call to arms.

He ran for mayor in 2011 with plans to bring the city back - and he says it is back.

There's a long way to go but he says the city's 'trajectory has changed.'

He wants to tell a different story than what the current president is pushing.

He said, "A myth is being sold that we can turn back the clock. An impossible promise we can return to a time that wasn't as great as it has been sold as.

"No such thing as honest politics that revolves around the world AGAIN. It's time to walk away from politics of the past and towards something totally different.

"That's why I'm here today.

"I'm here to join you to make a little news.

"My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete. I'm a proud son of South Bend Indiana and I am running for President of the United States."

Buttigieg says his slogan is easy - "Freedom, Security, Democracy."

Buttigieg says he wants to:

  • Make it easier to vote
  • Make courts less political
  • Make structures more inclusive
  • Pick a president by who got the most votes

Mayor Nan Whaley, of Dayton, Ohio

Rev. Brian Grantz from Cathedral of Saint James Episcopal Church

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