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Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg running for president, would be first openly gay nominee

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 1/23/2019 By Brian Niemietz, New York Daily News
a man wearing a suit and tie: Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigeig arrives at a news conference Jan. 23, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Buttigeig held a news conference to announce that he is forming an exploratory committee to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. © Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/TNS Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigeig arrives at a news conference Jan. 23, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Buttigeig held a news conference to announce that he is forming an exploratory committee to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Two-term South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg has joined a quickly growing field of Democrats lining up to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

"I launched a presidential exploratory committee because it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future," he announced on Twitter. "Are you ready to walk away from the politics of the past?"

Buttigieg brings a unique resume to the 2020 race. In addition to being a veteran who served in Afghanistan, he's a married gay man from ultraconservative Vice President Mike Pence's home state.

"When I came out, Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana," Buttigieg told reporters in Washington, D.C., after throwing his hat into the ring. "When I joined the military, 'don't ask, don't tell' was still the law of the land."

At one point, the 37-year-old candidate thought coming out as gay would end his political career, he said. But Wednesday, he boasted, "I am the first openly gay person to seek the Democratic nomination."

Buttigeig's husband Chasten Buttigieg tweeted his support and apparent willingness to be the nation's first first gentleman.

"I am so proud of my husband," he wrote. "Let's go show the world why I fell in love with you."

The pair married in June 2018 in South Bend after three years of dating. Buttigeig will likely challenge New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

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