Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic candidate who ran for state treasurer but lost in November is keeping his running shoes on and making a bid for Mayor of South Bend.
The seat is open after current Democratic Mayor Steve Luecke announced he will not run for re-election.
Anticipating his opponents' future efforts to paint two quicks runs in an unflattering light, Buttigieg notes:
While running two back-to-back campaigns is not a decision to take lightly, I cannot ignore this opportunity to make a difference. I was fortunate enough to have a great upbringing here, but our community struggles with the same kinds of issues I highlighted in the campaign for Treasurer. Without economic growth and more good-paying jobs, we risk falling into a cycle of decline in our neighborhoods, streets, schools, and economy.
There are four other names being bandied about - Pastor Barrett Berry of the Pentecostal Cathedral church, State Representative Ryan Dvorak, Work One business service representative Mike Dollinger, and St. Joseph County Councilor Mike Hamann. But I hope the city's Democrats pick Pete.
I've been around a lot of political people, and I don't remember being as excited about a candidate's long-term prospects since Evan Bayh was elected Secretary of State. Pete exudes intelligence, and every aspect of his campaign was pitch perfect, making him one of the few Willy Wonk-ish types who successfully tamed their inner professorial instinct. Nobody, except perhaps a clone of Pete with Meg Whitman's money, was going to be the Everlasting GOPstopper this year.
The biggest knock I've heard on Pete is that he looks really, really young, an affliction I wish I had. Of course, this is precisely why Pete can engage a new generation of Democratic leaders in not only South Bend, but throughout the state.
Buttigieg will need to corral support quickly to keep this venture from turning into a world of pure imagination. But if he is able to do so and win the general election, the sky (in a glass elevator) will be the limit.
(Somebody remind me to stop eating chocolate before I go to sleep).