2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates: Pete Buttigieg


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Pete Buttigieg was the mayor of South Bend, Indiana from 2012-2020. He served as a Naval Intelligence Officer from 2009 to 2017. He was deployed in Afghanistan in 2014 for seven months, making him the only military veteran out of the major candidates in the 2020 election. He is also the first openly gay candidate to seek the Democratic nomination, and the youngest candidate in the race.

Buttigieg’s policy positions are largely center-left: he has advocated for the abolition of the Electoral College, a public health insurance option, and more legislation directly addressing climate change. He favors amending the Federal Equality Act to include protections for LGBTQ+ Americans; he also opposes Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. He is pro-choice, advocating for the repeal of the Hyde amendment, which blocks federal funding for most abortions. He believes the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was justified, but supports the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Buttigieg has also called for structural reform on a federal level, particularly in regards to the Supreme Court; he has advocated for increasing the number of jurors from nine to fifteen, with five of those positions only able to be seated with unanimous consent of the other ten.

Buttigieg announced in December 2018 that he would not seek reelection as mayor of South Bend; four months later, he formally announced his candidacy on April 14, 2019. Even before he formally began his campaign, however, he raised over $600,000 from 22,000 unique donors, distinguishing himself early on in the 2020 election cycle among a crowded field of candidates. He qualified for the Democratic primary debates almost a month before he actually launched his campaign.

Buttigieg has established himself as a moderate; his website states that “good politics is based in helping people, not in advancing an ideological agenda.” His main challenge early in the race was distinguishing himself from other moderates like Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar. However, despite the exact results of the Iowa Caucus remaining hazy, it’s clear that Buttigieg has successfully made a name for himself as at least one of the top four candidates in the race.