South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced Jan. 23 that he was in the early stages of a presidential run, forming an exploratory committee that would investigate the viability of such a bid.
Buttigieg, should he officially mount a campaign, would be the first openly LGBT presidential candidate in U.S. history. He came out publicly as a gay man in 2015 and said in late 2018 that he would not be running for a third term as South Bend mayor. In 2017, he mounted an unsuccessful bid to become chair of the Democratic National Committee.
In a Jan. 23 announcement, Buttigieg said, "I am aware of the odds we would face if we proceed to mount a national campaign. But I am exploring this run because I can offer a different experience and perspective than anyone else. And I believe that at a moment like this, underdog campaigns will go further than the establishment would normally allow, when it comes to bold ideas that can truly meet the threats and opportunities coming our way."
The announcement was made in conjunction with Victory Fund, a national organization supporting LGBT candidates which has long championed Buttigieg.
The South Bend mayor has not been shy in his harsh criticism of the current commander-in-chief, at one point in 2017 referring to Donald J. Trump as a "draft-dodging chickenhawk president." In a video accompanying the Jan. 23 announcement, Buttigieg said that, "I've seen how much that leadership matters, and I've seen the kind of changes that can happen too. But they don't happen on their own. This is so important, especially for my generation."
He married his longtime-partner, Chasten Glezman, in June 2018.