Mayor Pete Receives Significant Endorsement from Fellow Mayors

South Bend, Indiana Mayor and Democratic Primary candidate Pete Buttigieg at the third debate, September 12, 2019. / Image via ABC-Univision screen capture

This morning, USA Today published an enthusiastic endorsement of Mayor Pete Buttigieg, representing dozens of leaders from “heartland,” “suburban” and “coastal cities” alike.

Credited to Steve Adler (Austin, Tex.), Christopher Cabaldon (West Sacramento, Calif.), Nan Whaley (Dayton, OH) and Sly James (Kansas City, MO), the letter emphasizes Mayor Pete’s experiences as South Bend, Indiana’s executive leader and the need for a pragmatist who can “get things done.”

Three Superlative Qualities of a “Role Model” Highlighted


The letter-writers point to three overarching selling points for Mayor Pete’s candidacy, setting him apart from the field and offering hope for real solutions: 

First, Mayor Pete puts practical solutions over partisan ideology. For mayors, politics isn’t a blood sport. (…)

Second, Mayor Pete looks forward, not back. [He] comes from a heartland city decimated by automation and globalization [but] has helped shepherd his community through a dramatic turnaround. (…)

Third, Mayor Pete is deeply invested in making sure every American is heard and feels they belong — especially in marginalized communities.

On Mr. Buttigieg’s “moral” and “empathetic leadership,” the authors point to the candidate as both “role model” and “mentor” to other city-level leaders nationwide. 

Recent Polls, Latest Debate Performance Keep Pete in Conversation

The endorsement quickly follows Mayor Pete’s generally well-received performance in last week’s debate, during which the candidate explained his coming out in response to a question about candidates’ resilience. BuzzFeed News described the moment as “emblematic of how far the US has come on LGBTQ rights,” sentiments echoed by the New York Times and other outlets.


The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of Democratic voters, conducted immediately after the debate from September 13-16, placed Mr. Buttigieg fourth in the field, at 7 percent. The top three candidates were former VP Joe Biden (31 percent), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (25 percent) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (14 percent).

The poll results, however, are subject to change in the months ahead. Just 9 percent of polled Democrats responded “their minds are definitely made up,” with over three months until the first caucuses and primaries take place in early 2020. 

(The margin of error for the NBC/WSJ poll was +/- 4.36 percent and full results can be explored here.)

This morning’s endorsement may suggest Mayor Pete is not to be discounted so early in the 2020 primary cycle. At the very least, dozens of his fellow municipal executives hope to make that case.

(Source: USA Today)

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