South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg made history Wednesday as the first openly gay elected official to run for the Office of the President of the United States. Buttigieg also is the first LGBTQ Democrat to run for the highest office in the country.
Buttigieg, 37, officially announced his White House bid in the Democratic 2020 race in a video shared on Twitter. Buttigieg is the ninth Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential primary race.
In the 1 minute and 47 second video, Buttigieg said he has launched an exploratory committee because “it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future.”
I launched a presidential exploratory committee because it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future. Are you ready to walk away from the politics of the past?
Join the team at https://t.co/Xlqn10brgH. pic.twitter.com/K6aeOeVrO7
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 23, 2019
Buttigieg was 29 in 2011, when he became the youngest mayor of a city having 100,000 residents. Buttigieg received almost 74 percent of the vote.
He is in his second mayoral term, but announced in December that he would not seek a third term.
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In June 2015, Buttigieg wrote an essay for the South Bend Tribune where he told the public that he’s gay and explained the importance of coming out. He ended the essay saying that he wanted one day to get married.
Three years later, Buttigieg married his boyfriend, Chasten Glezman, 28. The 45-minute ceremony was live streamed by the church where they we and included readings from majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U. S. Supreme Court case that legalized marriage equality.
Buttigieg also is a military veteran. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 2009 to 2017.
In 2014, Buttigieg took an unpaid leave of absence from the mayor’s office to serve in Afghanistan during a seven-month deployment. He earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his counterterrorism work.
Phillip Zonkel can be reached at 562-294-5996 or [email protected]