Will you back Buttigieg as a presidential candidate? Michiana voters weigh in
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – As South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg takes a step into the national spotlight, voters from around Michiana are weighing in on if they’ll support him as a presidential candidate.
Many voters have commented on Buttigieg’s intelligence, calling him a charismatic and authentic candidate.
“I think he just has more of a vision,” said Kathy Freese, who lives in Elkhart.
But the question many are asking is could this mayor from Indiana gain enough votes to win the presidency?
“When I first heard it I thought this is a real long shot,” said Jane Poe, who lives in Elkhart.
Many said they felt Buttigieg will be a front runner in the democratic candidates, but some disagree.
“I most likely will vote against Trump to get Trump out of office,” said Charles Wiemeri from Elkhart, “and I don’t think Pete will have enough votes for him to get Trump out of office.
From Elkhart to South Bend and Mishawaka, many said the same thing: they think Buttigieg has proved himself and has helped South Bend grow as a city.
But some say it’s what’s not happening in South Bend that should keep people from voting for Buttigieg for president.
“You talk to people of South Bend, their most important things are infrastructure and safety, and both of those are what South Bend lacks,” said Parker Adkins, who lives in Osceola, and attends college at Indiana University South Bend. “I mean I’m reminded of it every day when I come to school down Mishawaka Avenue and I’m hitting pothole after pothole.”
And because of that, Adkins says he doesn’t support Buttigieg as a presidential candidate.
“If a guy can’t cover the two most important issues to his residents, then it’s probably not a candidate I’d want to back,” said Adkins.
Others had different reasons for not backing Buttigieg.
“I believe in one man and one woman,” said Jacqueline Walker, who lives in Elkhart. Walker says Buttigieg is too liberal for her to back.
Buttigieg is openly gay, and that’s something some voters say could cost him the election.
“I think the American public is still too conservative to accept people other than what they consider the norm,” said Wiemeri.
But no matter the outcome, voters in Michiana feel a run from Mayor Pete could mean good things for South Bend.
“It’s great, it brings out name out into the national spotlight,” said Darren Young, who lives in South Bend, “especially if he does well, that could bring a lot of attention to South Bend.”