Pete Buttigieg is an American politician who is the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Interested in politics from a young age, Buttigieg was honored by members of President Kennedy's family during his senior year of high school for a remarkable essay that he wrote. Soon, he was selected as an Indiana delegate to the ‘United States Senate Youth Program.’ He then attended the ‘Harvard University’ from where he graduated with a BA in Literature and History. During this time, he also worked for Jill Long Thompson's congressional campaign. After his graduation, he started working for William Cohen, former U.S. Secretary of Defense. He was also involved in John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. Shortly after, Buttigieg was commissioned as a naval intelligence officer in the ‘Navy Reserve.’ He was deployed for several months in the Middle East, where he was a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. After being elected as the Mayor of South Bend in November 2011, he assumed office the next year, thus becoming the youngest Mayor of a U.S. city with at least 100,000 residents. In April 2019, Buttigieg officially announced that he is running for the 2020 Presidential elections as a democratic candidate.
Childhood & Early Life
Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg was born on 19 January 1982, in South Bend, Indiana, to Joseph A Buttigieg and Jennifer Ann Montgomery.
He studied at ‘St. Joseph High School,’ where during his senior year he was honored by former President JF Kennedy’s family members for a prize-winning essay that he wrote as part of the ‘Profiles in Courage Essay Contest.’ He was also selected as an Indiana delegate to the ‘United States Senate Youth Program.’ He graduated in the year 2000.
He later went to ‘Harvard University’ where he was elected as the president of the ‘Harvard Institute of Politics Student Advisory Committee.’ He got his BA in Literature and History in 2004. He also received a first-class Honors degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the ‘University of Oxford’ in 2007.
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During his time in college, Pete Buttigieg started working at ‘WMAQ-TV’ as an investigative intern. He had also worked as an intern for Jill Long Thompson’s 2002 congressional campaign and served as an adviser during her 2008 gubernatorial campaign. From 2004 to 2005, he worked as a conference director for the international strategic consulting firm of William Cohen, former US Secretary of Defense.
He then worked as a consultant at ‘McKinsey and Company,’ a management strategy consulting firm, from 2007 to 2010. He was a candidate from the ‘Democratic Party’ in 2010 for the State Treasurer of Indiana.
Buttigieg also served in the military for a few years, after being commissioned in 2009 as a naval intelligence officer in the ‘Navy Reserve.’ He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014 for seven months, after which he returned to South Bend. For his counterterrorism work, he earned a Joint Service Commendation Medal.
He was elected Mayor of South Bend on 8th November 2011. He assumed office the following year on 1st January, becoming the youngest Mayor of any US city with at least 100,000 residents.
He is known for making redevelopment a top priority during his administration. One of his signature programs is the ‘1000 Properties in 1000 Days.’ It was a project to repair or demolish targeted properties across the cities. The goal was eventually completed by the scheduled end date. During the time he served in Afghanistan as a lieutenant in the ‘Navy Reserves,’ Deputy Mayor Mark Neal took over his responsibilities.
Pete Buttigieg was named ‘Mayor of the Year’ by ‘GovFresh.com’ in 2013. The following year, he was named ‘The Most Interesting Mayor You’ve Never Heard Of.’ ‘The New York Times’ also published an article praising his work, and wondering if he would ever be elected as America’s first gay president.
In November 2014, he announced that he would seek a second term as mayor. After winning over 80% of the votes, he was elected as the Mayor of South Bend once again, on 3rd November 2015.
In 2017, Buttigieg announced his candidacy for the chairmanship of the ‘Democratic National Committee’ election. He withdrew from the race on the day of the election, citing “I’m not going to be the next chair.”
On April 14, 2019, he officially announced his democratic candidacy for the 2020 Presidential elections. If elected, he would be the first American President to be openly gay.
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Controversies & Scandals
Buttigieg first kindled a controversy after he demoted Darryl Boykins, the first African American police chief of South Bend, along with police communications director Karen DePaepe, as they were found to be involved in a case of tapped telephone conversations between four white police officers which supposedly contained racist content.
In 2016, his handling of a civil rights case gained national attention. The case involved three police officers of South Bend assaulting an African American teen for a crime he did not commit. Though the Buttigieg’s administration offered the boy’s family an amount of $15,000, the family rejected the offer. The case went to trial, where the officers were found guilty by the jury.
His ‘Smart Streets project’ also gained controversy after the death of an 11-year-old boy named Tristan Moore in an accident; he had been hit by a pickup truck while going to school. Buttigieg, however, denied that the project had anything to do with the accident.
Buttigieg was also in the news in June 2019 when one of the white South Bend police officers shot and killed an African-American man who was allegedly breaking into cars downtown. Buttigieg withdrew from his presidential campaign and addressed the enraged activists in the town hall and assured he would seek an independent investigation.
Pete supports the right to abortion and voted against the Senate that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. He stated, “trust women to make these decisions.”
Awards & Achievements
Pete Buttigieg was named ‘Mayor of the Year’ by ‘GovFresh.com’ in 2013.
He was named ‘Rodel Fellow’ of the ‘Aspen Institute’ in 2014.
In 2015, Buttigieg became a recipient of the ‘John F Kennedy New Frontier Fenn Award.’
Pete Buttigieg is homosexual. In June 2015, he publicly announced his sexual orientation through an essay. He is also the first executive in Indiana to be openly gay.
He is a Christian and attends Sunday services at the ‘Episcopal Church.’
He had given a TEDx talk on urban innovation in South Bend, which was appreciated.
In December 2017, Pete announced his engagement to boyfriend Chasten Glezman whom he met through a dating app. They tied the knot in a private ceremony at the ‘Cathedral of St. James’ on June 16, 2018.
Buttigieg has suggested that he supports legalizing marijuana.