Pete Buttigieg 2020 presidential campaign

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Pete for America
Pete for America logo (Strato Blue).svg
Campaign2020 United States presidential election (Democratic primaries)
AffiliationDemocratic Party
StatusExploratory committee January 23, 2019
Announced April 14, 2019
HeadquartersSouth Bend, Indiana
Key people
  • Mike Schmuhl[1]
  •      (campaign manager)
  • Lis Smith[1]
  •      (spokesperson)
SloganIt's time for a new generation of American leadership

The 2020 presidential campaign of Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, began with the formation of an exploratory committee for the Democratic nomination on January 23, 2019. The campaign was formally launched on April 14, 2019.[2][3] Buttigieg is the first openly gay Democratic candidate for president.[4] If elected, Buttigieg would be the youngest and first openly gay U.S. president.[5][6]

Buttigieg supports single-payer healthcare, labor unions, universal background checks for guns, protecting the environment by addressing climate change, a pathway to citizenship, overturning Citizens United and passing a federal law banning discrimination against LGBT people.[7]


Buttigieg campaigning in New Hampshire, February 2019

On January 23, 2019, Pete Buttigieg announced the formation of an exploratory committee to run for President of the United States in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[6] He had attracted speculation as a potential presidential candidate, notably following his visit to the early caucus state of Iowa in December 2018, where he announced he would not run for reelection as mayor of South Bend.[8]

Buttigieg participated in a town hall at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on March 11.[9] Within 24 hours, Buttigieg raised more than $600,000 from 22,000 unique donors. This gave his campaign an extra boost and a better chance than most of the other low tier candidates to qualify for the primary debates later in the year. Following the Townhall and a series of well-received press interviews, CNN dubbed Buttigieg "the hottest candidate in the 2020 race".[10][11]

On March 16, 2019, Buttigieg's campaign surpassed the 65,000 unique donor threshold to qualify for the presidential primary debates.[12][13] Buttigieg's campaign was formally launched on April 14, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana.[2]


By the end of the first quarter of 2019, the campaign had raised more than $7 million.[14]

Democratic donor Susie Tompkins Buell sent invitations for a fundraiser for Buttigieg scheduled for April 11, 2019. The fundraiser is seeking contributions ranging from $250 to $2,800. Buell has also backed U.S. Senator Kamala Harris in the 2020 race.[15] Within four hours of Buttigieg's campaign launch, the campaign raised more than $1 million.[16]


Nationwide opinion polling for the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries for Buttigieg

A poll conducted by Emerson Polling between March 21 and March 24, 2019 in the early battleground state of Iowa found Buttigieg in third place behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, but ahead of other candidates such as Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Beto O'Rourke.[17] Monmouth University conducted a poll between April 4 and April 9 in Iowa and also found Buttigieg in third, again behind Biden and Sanders.[18][19] A St. Anselm College poll conducted between April 3 and April 8 in New Hampshire also placed Buttigieg in third.[19]

Political positions[edit]


Buttigieg is pro-choice. In 2018, as mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg vetoed a zoning exception application for the pro-life Women's Care Center to be situated next to Whole Women's Health Alliance, which provides abortions. The Women's Care Center eventually found an alternate location in South Bend.[20] Even though the South Bend Common Council supported the rezoning exception, Buttigieg's explained regarding his veto, “I don’t think it would be responsible to situate two groups, literally right next to each other... that have diametrically opposed views on the most divisive social issue of our time.” He also expressed concern that such buildings next to each other may be conducive to one side harassing the other.[21]

Climate change[edit]

Buttigieg favors a renewed commitment by the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement.[22] He has also mentioned that the government should start subsidizing solar panels to reduce emissions.[23] Buttigieg is a proponent of the Green New Deal proposed by House Democrats.[24][25]

Criminal justice[edit]

Buttigieg supports eliminating the death penalty.[26] He has also called for restoring voting rights for former felons and moving toward reversing criminal sentences for minor drug related offenses.[27] He supports the "safe, regulated, and legal sale of marijuana".[28]

In 2019, Buttigieg stated he was "troubled" by the commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence and gave a mixed response to Edward Snowden's actions, saying that "we've learned things about abuses and that one way or another that needed to come out" but that "the way for that to come out is through Congressional oversight, not through a breach of classified information."[29]

Economy and commerce[edit]

Buttigieg has frequently pointed to automation as the main cause of manufacturing job loss and is focused on making the new global economy work for all Americans.[30] He has spoken of the need to work with labor unions.[31] He considers himself a democratic capitalist, rejecting crony capitalism and favoring a constitutional amendment to protect democracy from the undue influence of money in politics.[32] He is receptive to the possibility of anti-trust actions against large technology companies, but more focused on privacy and data security concerns.[33]


Buttigieg favors the abolition of the Electoral College.[34] Buttigieg has also said that he does not believe that convicted felons should be able to vote while incarcerated.[35]

Foreign policy[edit]

Buttigieg has said that he believes the post-9/11 action in Afghanistan was justified[33] but now supports withdrawing American troops from the country, but not out of Syria.[22]

Buttigieg is a committed advocate of Israel, breaking from a growing faction of the Democratic party that has shifted its support toward Palestinians.[36] However, he disapproved Netanyahu's willingness to annex Jewish settlements situated the West Bank to Israel.[37]

Health care[edit]

Buttigieg advocated for a single-payer health care system from the start of his campaign.[38] He has clarified that he would not immediately jump to single-payer from the current system—implementing an all-payer rate setting as a stopgap.[39]


Buttigieg supports DACA and has drawn attention to the Trump administration’s aggressive deportation policies. In one instance, he defended a resident of Granger, Indiana who was deported after living in the U.S. for 17 years despite checking in with ICE regularly and applying for a green card.[40]

On the topic of sending American troops to the southern border, Buttigieg says that Trump has been reckless and that this should only be used as a last resort.[41]

Judicial issues[edit]

Buttigieg has stated that he believes the Supreme Court needs structural reform, emphasizing depoliticization and suggesting that the court be expanded to 15 members, five of whom can only be seated by a unanimous consensus of the other 10.[34]

Social issues[edit]

Buttigieg favors amending civil rights legislation with the Federal Equality Act, so that LGBT Americans receive federal non-discrimination protections.[42] He opposes the ban on transgender military participation enacted under Trump.[43][29]

He also supports expanding opportunities for national service, specifically increasing opportunities for young Americans to do a service year after high school.[44]

He is opposed to free college tuition because he believes that it unfairly subsidizes education of higher income earners at the expense of lower income earners who do not attend college. This position distances him from other progressives who support free college tuition for all.[45] Buttigieg supports initiatives to make college more affordable.[46]


Buttigieg is an advocate for the statehood of Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, "if they want it."[34]



  1. ^ a b Merica, D. (March 24, 2019). "Pete Buttigieg is having a moment". CNN. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Merica, Dan (April 14, 2019). "Pete Buttigieg officially announces presidential campaign". Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Report, South Bend Tribune. "What you need to know for Pete Buttigieg's big announcement in South Bend". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Schwab, Nikki (January 19, 2019). "Pete Buttigieg is first openly gay Democrat to run for president". New York Post. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Merica, Dan (January 23, 2019). "Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, jumps into 2020 race – CNNPolitics". CNN. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  7. ^ Yarvin, Jessica (February 15, 2019). "What does Pete Buttigieg believe? Where the candidate stands on 7 issues". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  8. ^ Bradner, Eric (December 17, 2018). "With 2020 looming, South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg says he won't seek third term – CNNPolitics". Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  9. ^ Merica, Dan (March 12, 2019). "Buttigieg feels momentum after CNN town hall, with $600K raised in 24 hours". Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  10. ^ Dreyfuss, Emily (March 22, 2019). "How Do You Pronounce Buttigieg? The Internet Counts The Ways". Wired. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  11. ^ Cillizza, Chris (March 22, 2019). "Pete Buttigieg is the hottest candidate in the 2020 race right now". CNN. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  12. ^ Scherer, Michael (March 19, 2019). "Candidates reach for the ticket to Democratic debates: 65,000 donors". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  13. ^ Buttigieg, Pete (March 16, 2019). "We've reached the mark". Twitter. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  14. ^ Strauss, Daniel (April 1, 2019). "South Bend Mayor Buttigieg raised over $7 million for 2020 campaign". Politico. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  15. ^ Strauss, Daniel (April 4, 2019). "Democratic megadonor sends fundraiser invites for Buttigieg". Politico. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  16. ^ Breuninger, Kevin (April 15, 2019). "Pete Buttigieg raises $1 million within four hours of 2020 campaign announcement". CNBC. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  17. ^ Rodrigo, Chris Mills (March 24, 2019). "Buttigieg surges to third place in new Iowa poll". The Hill. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  18. ^ Montoya-Galvez, Camilo (April 11, 2019). "Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg lead 2020 Democrats in new Iowa poll". CBS News. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Agiesta, Jennifer (April 11, 2019). "New polls in Iowa and New Hampshire show Pete Buttigieg on the rise". CNN. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  20. ^ North, Anna (March 27, 2019). "An abortion clinic is suing to open in Pete Buttigieg's city. It could test his skills on a national stage". Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  21. ^ Parrot, Jeff (April 28, 2018). "South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg vetoes anti-abortion group's rezoning". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  22. ^ a b "What does Pete Buttigieg believe? Where the candidate stands on 7 issues". PBS NewsHour. February 15, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  23. ^ "Mayor Pete to President Pete? It's crazy, but he thinks his ideas aren't". Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  24. ^ Janes, Chelsea; Scherer, Michael (March 16, 2019). "Pete Buttigieg, the young and openly gay Midwest mayor, finds a voice in crowded Democratic presidential field". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  25. ^ "Buttigieg backs Green New Deal resolution". Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  26. ^ Steinhauser, Paul (April 4, 2019). "Buttigieg calls for scrapping death penalty, supporting slavery reparations". Fox News. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  27. ^ Higgins, Tucker (April 4, 2019). "Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg addresses 'all lives matter' controversy, says he no longer uses the phrase". CNBC. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  28. ^ Martin, Naomi; Pindell, James; Datar, Saurabh; Uraizee, Irfan; Garvin, Patrick (February 26, 2019). "Marijuana is no longer a fringe issue for 2020 presidential candidates". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  29. ^ a b Dorsey, Steve (March 11, 2019). "2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg "troubled" by clemency for Chelsea Manning". CBS. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  30. ^ "The Axe Files episode 129" (PDF). University of Chicago. March 13, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  31. ^ Cisneros, Juan (March 3, 2018). "Keynote speaker at Washington Days sees similarities between Indiana and Kansas". Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  32. ^ Turner, Ashley (March 20, 2019). "2020 Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg says this is 'the biggest problem with capitalism right now'". CNBC. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  33. ^ a b Lizza, Ryan (March 2, 2019). "The Esquire Interview: Mayor Peter Buttigieg". Esquire. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  34. ^ a b c Deconstructed (March 21, 2019). "Deconstructed Podcast: Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Trump, Islamophobia, and His Presidential Bid". The Intercept. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  35. ^ Greenwood, Max (April 22, 2019). "Buttigieg on whether felons should be able to vote from prison: 'I don't think so'". TheHill. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  36. ^ Ward, Alex (April 3, 2019). "Democrats are increasingly critical of Israel. Not Pete Buttigieg". Vox. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  37. ^ "Democratic presidential candidate pans PM's 'harmful' comments on settlements". Times of Israel. April 7, 2019.
  38. ^ "Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg Launches 2020 Exploratory Committee, Jan 23 2019". Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  39. ^ Warnke, Melissa (March 18, 2019). "Uninspired by the crop of 2020 Democrats? Keep your eyes on Mayor Pete". LA Times. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  40. ^ Buttigieg, Pete (March 21, 2017). "Why These Trump Voters Are Sticking Up For An Undocumented Neighbor". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  41. ^ CBS News (January 31, 2019), Mayor Pete Buttigieg on the experience he'd bring to the 2020 presidential campaign, retrieved March 7, 2019
  42. ^ "Pete Buttigieg makes pitch to LGBT voters in bid to become first out gay president". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights. February 5, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  43. ^ "South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg weighs in on transgender military ban". ABC57. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  44. ^ "Buttigieg: We need generational change in politics". Morning Joe. MSNBC. March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  45. ^ Berman, Elizabeth (April 5, 2019). "Pete Buttigieg argues against free college. This is why progressives can't agree about subsidizing tuition". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  46. ^ Kreighbaum, Andrew (April 5, 2019). "Buttigieg Rejects Free College". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved April 5, 2019.

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