Thursday, 20 June 2019

Gay US mayor from ´Rust Belt´ America launches presidential bid

UNITED STATES: Pete Buttigieg, the gay, liberal mayor of a small American city in the conservative bastion of Indiana, officially launched his presidential bid, joining a crowded field of Democrats vying for their party´s nomination in 2020.

The 37-year-old Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan war veteran is the two-term mayor of his hometown of South Bend – a left-leaning bubble in America´s so-called “Rust Belt” region, where the decline of industries such as steel and automobile manufacturing has hurt local economies.

Voters in states such as Michigan and Wisconsin helped hand Republican US President Donald Trump his victory in the 2016 election.

Buttigieg, who is credited with helping turn South Bend around, has couched himself as a can-do reformer who can speak to voters across the political spectrum.

“My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me ´Mayor Pete.´ I´m a proud son of South Bend, Indiana, and I am running for president of the United States!” he told a crowd of supporters at a former assembly plant turned high-tech hub in South Bend.

“That´s why I am here, to tell a different story than ´Make America Great Again´” he added, referring to Trump´s campaign slogan. “This time it´s not just about wing an election. It´s about winning an era.”

The official launch is expected to give his surprisingly strong campaign an additional boost.

So many people showed up for the event that a large crowd was left outside in the rain to watch on a giant screen.

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