Pete Buttigieg has officially announced that he is running for president in 2020 during an event in South Bend, Indiana.
Buttigieg launched an exploratory committee on January 23. But candidates must also make a formal declaration and submit specific reports to the Federal Election Commission in order for the campaign to be classified as “official.”
His intentions leading up to the April 14 announcement were also made abundantly clear on the Federal Election Commission’s website. His organization is now listed as “Pete for America Inc.” The name was previously listed as the “Pete for America Exploratory Committee.”
Here’s what you need to know.
Watch the Live Stream of Pete Buttigieg’s Announcement Here
Pete Buttigieg decided to make his formal announcement from South Bend, Indiana, where he is currently serving his second term as mayor. The event was initially planned to be outdoors but the campaign moved it inside due to rainy weather. The campaign also encouraged potential voters nationwide to hold viewing parties.
The announcement is happening inside Studebaker Building 84, which has historical significance in South Bend. The building was once the home of a successful auto factory. The Studebaker Corporation was once the fourth-largest automaker in the United States but went out of business in the 1960s. The South Bend factory closed down in 1963.
During Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s tenure, the Studebaker site has undergone extensive renovations. As reported by Wired, the former factory now houses a data-storage company and 800,000 square feet of office space. An estimated $10.4 million was also invested to revamp the six-story building’s exterior, according to WNDU-TV.
At a groundbreaking ceremony in 2016, Buttigieg commented on how the old factory served as a symbol of how the city of South Bend was moving forward. “What once was only here to tell us about our past is now one of the shining examples of South Bend’s future.”
Pete Buttigieg Began to Surge in Mid-March & Has Gained Attention For Criticism of Vice President Mike Pence Over Religious Views
Pete Buttigieg’s unexpected rise in the Democratic primary race is largely attributed to his ability to intelligently explain his stance on the issues. He also took advantage of the momentum by accepting as many television appearances as possible. Before early March, Buttigieg was not well known outside of his hometown of South Bend. That began to change after a CNN Town hall appearance on March 10.
Buttigieg’s response to a question about Vice President Mike Pence was among the clips from that interview that was widely shared on social media. He was asked whether he thought Pence would be a better or worse president than Trump. Buttigieg didn’t choose but instead talked about how his own religious views don’t match up with Pence’s. (Buttigieg attends an Episcopalian church and was married in the church). Buttigieg said in the town hall, “Please don’t judge my state by our former governor… His interpretation of Scripture is pretty different from mine to begin with. My understanding of scripture is that it’s about protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person and that idea of welcome. That’s what I get in the gospel when I’m in church. And his has a lot more to do with sexuality and a certain view of rectitude. But even if you buy into that, how could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump?”
Vice President Pence has since accused Buttigieg of criticizing him in order to gain publicity for his campaign. Buttigieg stated during an interview with Ellen Degeneres on April 12 that he is I don’t have a problem with religion; I’m religious too. I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people. And especially in the LGBTQ community, so many people even today feel like they don’t belong. You can be fired in so many parts of this country just for who you are. And that’s got to change. I’m not interested in feuding with the Vice President. But if he wanted to clear this up, he could come out today and say he’s changed his mind, that it shouldn’t be legal to discriminate against anybody in this country for who they are.”
The Buttigieg Campaign Raised More Than $7 Million in the First Quarter of 2019
Pete Buttigieg’s campaign raised a substantial amount from donors in the first quarter of 2019: more than $7 million. The campaign received funds from a total of 158,550 people. The average donation was $36.35. 64 percent of the donations made to the campaign were from individuals who sent in $200 or less.
It’s worth noting as well that the name of Buttigieg’s organization on the Federal Election Commission website was changed to “Pete for America, Inc” days before his announcement in South Bend. The filings were formally listed under the name “Pete for America Exploratory Committee.”
Buttigieg Has Begun to Pick Up Traction in National & State Polls
As referenced above, Pete Buttigieg was not well-known when he first launched his exploratory committee for president. He barely registered in early polling, and sometimes failed to even garner support from 1 percent of people surveyed.
But more recently, those numbers have started to shift. An average of national polls by Real Clear Politics shows that Buttigieg is consistently outpacing Senators Amy Klobuchar and Kristen Gillibrand. He has also gained on candidates including Senator Kamala Harris, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Cory Booker; the difference between Buttigieg and those candidates is within the margin of error of most polls.
On the state level, Buttigieg was shown to be performing better than O’Rourke and Harris in Pennsylvania, according to an Enerson College poll released on March 28. He also polled in third place in Iowa, according to a Monmouth University poll put out on April 11.