Stereotype-Defying Mayor, 35, Could Be Next DNC Chief

Buzz is building around Pete Buttigieg
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2017 3:26 AM CST
Mayor, 35, Could Be Next DNC Chief
South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg delivers his State of the City address at the Century Center in South Bend.   (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)

Pete Buttigieg may not be a household name, but the youthful Indiana mayor just might end up becoming the next chief of the Democratic National Committee, which chooses its new leader Saturday. The South Bend mayor, who turned 35 last month, is being seen as somebody who could break through the middle between front-runners Tom Perez, a former labor secretary favored by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporters, and Rep. Keith Ellison, who's being supported by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, reports the Indianapolis Star, which notes that "Buttigieg," a common surname in Malta, is pronounced "BOOT-Edge-Edge."

Joe Andrew, one of four former DNC chairs who've endorsed Buttigieg, tells the Star that people respect how the mayor—a Rhodes scholar and officer in the US Navy Reserve who came out as gay in an op-ed in the local paper—defies stereotypes. The South Bend Tribune reports that Buttigieg, who's an Afghanistan veteran, condemned President Trump in unusually strong terms at a recent DNC candidates' forum in Baltimore, calling Trump "a draft-dodging chicken hawk." The Tribune notes that Buttigieg doesn't have the support of a majority of the 447 DNC members who will vote in Atlanta Saturday, but neither do the other nine candidates. (More Democratic National Committee stories.)

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