Until recently, having someone serve as the President of the United States who is not a powerful white male was unthinkable. Yet, with the inauguration of President Barrack Obama and the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, the doors have opened wide, allowing the options for presidential candidates to expand considerably. So, it is no surprise that the search for the first gay presidential candidate is already underway.
Rising to the top of the list, Peter Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has eyes on him in the search for the country’s first gay presidential candidate.
At only 34-years-old, Mayor Buttigieg is already serving his second term as mayor due to his service to the community and to the United States. In 2014, Mayor Buttigieg was faced with a choice to remove himself from office while being deployed to Afghanistan or make other arrangements, according to The New York Times. Rather than forfeit everything he worked hard for to become mayor of South Bend and halt his plans for the city, he chose to relinquish control to his deputy mayor on a temporary basis while he served abroad. During that time, Mayor Buttigieg forfeited his pay until his return seven months later.
In addition to serving his country in times of war, Mayor Buttigieg attended Harvard University, where he graduated with his bachelor’s degree. He then went on to receive his master’s from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2014, Buttigieg was named the “most interesting mayor you’ve ever heard of” by the Washington Post. In addition, he played piano for the South Bend symphony Orchestra, speaks Arabic, and was the winner of the J.F.K. Frontier Award. All of these achievements were obtained prior to him coming out as gay.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg has based his career on his experiences and following through on his promises. He chooses not to ride the coattails of labels that have been placed on him, but rather focus on what needs to be done and move forward from there. Although flattered by The New York Times piece about him possibly being the first gay president, Mayor Pete Buttigieig would rather let his hard work speak for itself.
“I’m not interested in being a poster boy,”
It seems that Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s reputation is guiding his career. When he was running for reelection in South Bend, he won with approximately 80 percent of the votes, even after coming out as gay to the city, according to the South Bend Tribune.
Although he serves as mayor at this time, the improvements that he has orchestrated in the once struggling city of South Bend have set him up for a potential senate or gubernatorial bid in the future. His philosophy regarding his role in government is not to rush ahead and reach the higher offices right away, but instead to work hard to receive the faith of the community and prove his worth.
“Politicians are rushing for the center, careful not to stick their necks out on issues. to win back the faith of a voting public weary and wary of political opportunism.”
Mayor Buttigieg has plenty of plans left to put into action for the city of South Bend as he works to continue cleaning the city and bringing it to the forefront of technology and ensuring it is a safe place to live, leaving a presidential bid a long-term goal, if he chooses that path at all.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg has plenty of time to consider a run for the presidency, considering his young age. However, when and if it does happen, you can bet that he will not allow his sexuality to become the topic at the forefront of his candidacy. Instead, Mayor Buttigieg will allow his accomplishments guide his campaign and prove his worth.
[Photo Via: @PeteButtigieg/Twitter]