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Mayor, Veteran, Harvard Grad: Pete Buttigieg Is First Openly-Gay Dem to Enter Presidential Race

The Indiana mayor is the youngest to officially declare a run for president in 2020, and the first openly-gay politician ever to seek a mainstream party's nomination for the highest office in the land.

New Civil Rights Movement | January 28, 2019

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has just entered the 2020 Democratic race for President, forming an exploratory committee. He’s a Millennial, and before this week (he turned 37 on Saturday) he was literally half the age of President Donald Trump. He’s also the youngest Democrat to enter the 2020 race. (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is also 37, but older by several months.) And he’s the first elected openly-gay politician to ever run for the White House.

Buttigieg is the only Democratic candidate so far who is a veteran. He served in the Navy as a lieutenant, and did a tour in Afghanistan.

He’s also a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard grad.

That’s quite a résumé in a presidential race where Americans are looking for change and diversity.

“I think a lot about intergenerational justice,” Mayor Buttigieg, who is known locally as “Mayor Pete,” told The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere in his first interview as a presidential candidate.

“Short-term versus long-term helps to explain a lot of the policy disagreements that happen between the parties, and I would argue that in most ways we are the party with more long-term thinking,” he said.

Dovere notes that “Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani have both said that if there are bad consequences to what they’re doing, they’ll be dead and gone by then.”

Buttigieg talks a lot about policy in terms that appeal to Millennials, and those who care about the future.

“If you’re my age or younger, you were in high school when the school shootings became widespread, you’re going to be dealing with climate change for most of your adult life in specific, noticeable ways,” Buttigieg said. “You’re going to be dealing with the consequences of what they’ve done to the debt, you’re on track to be the first generation ever to make less than your parents, unless something changes, and your generation furnished most of the troops for the post-9/11 wars. It just gives you a very different relationship to political decision-makers and decision-making.”

Buttigieg came out in 2015, saying he did it to help struggling students and seniors.

He released this video announcing his run for the White House. Appropriately, it includes images of him with his husband.

You can read the entire profile at The Atlantic.