Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially launched his presidential candidacy before a crowd of tens of thousands in his hometown city of South Bend, Indiana on Sunday afternoon.
The announcement makes Mayor Buttigieg the first openly LGBTQ Democratic presidential candidate in U.S. history – a milestone in American politics and for an LGBTQ community increasingly able to win high-level elected office.
In his speech he said: “It’s time to walk away from the politics of the past, and toward something totally different,”
“So that’s why I’m here today, joining you to make a little news: My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete. I am a proud son of South Bend, Indiana, and I am running for President of the United States.”
Mayor Pete put his youth front and center in his speech focussing on his plans for the future of America on the effects of climate change, healing racial divisions and the fact that Millennials will earn less over the course of their lives than their parents.
“Mayor Pete shattered a lavender ceiling once thought unbreakable, becoming the first openly LGBTQ Democratic presidential candidate in American history and our first real shot at the Oval Office,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund.
“There is enormous power in an openly gay presidential candidate stumping at town halls in Iowa and speaking to Americans from the presidential debate stage – it changes perceptions of our community and raises the bar for candidates who seek LGBTQ support. While Mayor Pete’s candidacy is historic and a milestone moment for our community, his meteoric rise is most notable for the support he’s receiving from diverse groups of voters. There are enormous minefields and hurdles to running as an openly LGBTQ candidate, and so far, Mayor Pete has gracefully leapt over them on the world’s largest political stage. He’s the real deal.”
Watch Mayor Pete’s speech: