Pete Buttigieg officially launches 2020 presidential campaign

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a rising star inside large pool of Democratic presidential hopefuls, officially announced a 2020 presidential bid on Sunday.

“My name is usually Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete,” Buttigieg said at a rally inside a partly rebuilt factory, formerly owned by automaker Studebaker. “I am a proud son of South Bend, Indiana. as well as I am running for President of the United States.”

“I ran for mayor in 2011 knowing nothing like Studebaker might ever come back, although which we might, our city might, if we had the courage to reimagine our future,” he told the crowd.

If elected, Buttigieg, a 37-year old Rhodes Scholar, might be the youngest president in history, as well as the first who is usually openly gay.

The once little-known Midwestern politician formed an exploratory committee in January, as well as has since garnered early attention via Democratic voters as well as donors.

Recent polling via early voting states brand-new Hampshire as well as Iowa show Buttigieg in third among the Democratic party’s voters, behind Bernie Sanders as well as Joe Biden, although ahead of well known candidates including Elizabeth Warren as well as Beto O’Rourke. Earlier This kind of month, Buttigieg announced he had raised more than $7 million since declaring his candidacy in January, an amount which surprised some, given his low name recognition among voters.

Buttigieg’s official announcement also caps a week of heightened media attention, especially after the mayor criticized Vice President Mike Pence’s record on LGBT equality. Addressing the “Mike Pences of the earth,” Buttigieg said on Sunday which “your quarrel is usually not with me — your quarrel, sir, is usually with my creator.”

Pence, who served as governor of Indiana when Buttigieg became available as gay during his re-election campaign for mayor, responded to Buttigieg’s comments in an interview which aired on CNBC’s “Squwk Box” Thursday: “He said some things which are critical of my Christian faith as well as about me personally. as well as he knows better. He knows me.”

As he gains momentum as a 2020 candidate, Buttigieg’s record as a two-term mayor has also come under some scrutiny. As much of his candidacy has centered on his claim of reversing an economic downturn in South Bend, questions have surfaced about whether the city’s revitalization left out black as well as Hispanic residents.

In an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood on Friday, Buttigieg said he’s not running to be president “for any one group.”

“I think divisive identity politics is usually exactly what’s being practiced by the White House today, as well as the item’s using race to divide us within, for example, the middle as well as working class. We’ve got to turn the page via which,” he said.