At 38, the former Indiana mayor is the US's youngest presidential candidate, and has got everyone asking: 'Who is Pete Buttigieg?'
"Who is Pete Buttigieg?" That's the question everyone is asking after Pete Buttigieg's meteoric rise to become one of the front runners among the Democratic presidential candidates, and oppose US President Donald Trump. In case you're wondering, his surname is pronounced "Boot-edge-edge".
The 38-year-old, who has positioned himself as a moderate, has gone head-to-head with his more established rivals, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. He narrowly won the pledged delegate count in the Iowa caucuses and tied the pledged delegate count in the New Hampshire primary.
He is a former Indiana mayor
Born and bred in the small town of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg is a former Rhodes scholar who graduated from Harvard College and then Oxford University. He worked as a consultant at McKinsey before heading home to South Bend, where he got elected as the town's mayor in 2011, at the age of 29. After serving two terms, "Mayor Pete" " as he is affectionately known " left office on the first day of 2020 to focus on his presidential campaign.
He served as an intelligence officer
In between his McKinsey gig and two terms as mayor, Buttigieg has also served in the US Navy Reserve as a naval intelligence officer. In 2014, he took seven months' leave from the mayoral post to deploy to Kabul, Afghanistan, serving as an armed driver who watched out for ambushes and explosive devices. For his service, Buttigieg was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal.
He is a proud gay man
Making history as the first gay Democratic presidential candidate (Fred Karger stood unsuccessfully for the Republicans in 2012), Buttigieg publicly came out in an op-ed in 2015. Although he feared his disclosure would end his career, the charismatic politician told the 2019 Democratic debate, "I was not interested in not knowing what it was like to be in love any longer".
Pete met his husband, Chasten Glezman, a high schoolteacher, on the dating app Hinge in 2015 and after three years of dating (including a long-distance relationship), they were married at the Episcopal Cathedral of St James in South Bend in June 2018.
He is a true polyglot
The presidential candidate knows eight languages " English, Norwegian, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Dari Persian and Maltese, his father's native tongue.
He plans big things for LGBTQ+ rights
During the 2019 presidential town halls, Buttigieg unveiled his plans for LGBTQ+ rights. He promised to reverse Trump's ban on transgender people in the military and promised to pass the Equality Act, which would give protection to LGBTQ+ individuals and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. According to his official website, Buttigieg plans to end gay conversion therapy and provide protection to LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers.
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