Pete Buttigieg, the little-known Indiana mayor who has risen to prominence in the early stages of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, made his official campaign entrance Sunday by claiming the mantle of a youthful generation ready to reshape the country, the AP reports. "I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor," he said to cheers of "Pete, Pete, Pete" from an audience assembled in a former Studebaker auto plant. "More than a little bold, at age 37, to seek the highest office in the land." The South Bend mayor, a Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan War veteran who has been essentially campaign since January, has joined a dozen-plus rivals vying to take on President Donald Trump.
"The forces of change in our country today are tectonic," he said. "Forces that help to explain what made this current presidency even possible. That's why, this time, it's not just about winning an election—it's about winning an era." Buttigieg will return this week to Iowa and New Hampshire, which hold the nation's first nominating contests, to campaign as a full-fledged candidate now being taken more seriously. Over the past few months, Buttigieg has appeared frequently on national TV news and talk shows and developed a strong social media following with his message that the country needs "a new generation of leadership." Buttigieg's poll numbers have climbed. Some polls put him behind only Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, who hasn't yet said he's running.
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