Thousands Come Out to Support Mayor Pete’s Presidential Run


Via The Rolling Stone

Joey Shrader, Reporter

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg officially announced his plan to run for president of the United States this past weekend on Sunday, April 14 at the former Studebaker factory in downtown South Bend. The factory was abandoned in 1963 after the Studebaker Company collapsed and left South Bend, leaving the economy of the city in ruins. In the past few years, the building has been renovated in order to house new tech companies and other fast-growing businesses. The announcement was originally planned for the Century Center parking lot but due to unpromising weather forecasts that led to 30 degree weather and freezing rain, the event organizers made the decision to move the event to the Studebaker.

While the weather was not ideal, it did not stop thousands of supporters to wait in a line that lasted for blocks to get into the event. According to the South Bend Police Department, over 4,000 attendees were allowed into the Studebaker before reaching capacity, and around 1,500 supporters watched the announcement on a jumbotron in the outdoor overflow area.

The event officially kicked of at 2pm with a variety of speakers prior to Mayor Pete’s official announcement. Among the speakers were mayors of Dayton, Ohio; West Sacramento, California; and Austin, Texas, all supporting Pete’s presidential campaign. Before Pete spoke to the crowd inside, he first addressed the large crowd gathered outside. “I am impressed by the people standing inside, but I am moved by the people standing outside,” Buttigieg said to those outside. “If I see you out on the campaign trail, remind me that you were here today and remind me that you were outside.”

Finally, around 3:30, Pete himself made his way onto the stage. Before anyone new it, Buttigieg formally announced his plan to run for president, saying: “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.” Pete went on to speak about his plans for the presidential campaign and why it is so important for someone like him to be in the race. “It’s time to walk away from the politics of the past, and toward something totally different,” said Pete. “… That’s why, this time, it’s not just about winning an election—it’s about winning an era.”

In the past weeks, Pete has stirred up lots of public attention because of his uniqueness among the rest of the presidential hopefuls. Pete attended Harvard University in Massachusetts and Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He was also a Rhodes Scholar, which means he held a prestige scholarship to attend Oxford. Not to mention, he is also a veteran, a concert pianist, and he speak seven languages. Pete’s quick rise to the national spotlight has earned him segments on The Ellen Show, Meet the Press, The View, Late Night with Seth Myers, and others. Following the announcement, Pete will continue the travel the country working on his campaign, including trips to New York and Iowa this week.