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Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks Democratic Party future

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Many are expecting South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to be in front of the Democratic Party’s “blue wave.”

Some folks are even floating the idea that he should run for president in 2020.

The mayor says his mind isn’t on Washington D.C. too much as Indiana could become a major midterm battleground state in November.

“It’s clear that there’s a level of energy in the party that I’m not sure has happened in my lifetime,” said Mayor Buttigieg. “The question is can that energy be sustained going through to November and beyond November so we can really build a lasting majority that can help govern this country.”

Buttigieg’s rising star led him to Atlanta, Georgia last February.

He was one of seven candidates running for the vacant Democratic National Committee chair seat.

Although he withdrew his name from the running the day of the election, he had left a lasting impression on the party.

He would later roll out his own political action committee that summer.

“We’re really excited about the road ahead and it’s not going to operate like many of the other kind of traditional political organizations out there,” he said.

Hitting Home, his PAC, has spent more than $230,000 since its launch according to the Federal Election Commission.

The mayor says he envisions his PAC supporting more local races.

“Those people begin to have a trajectory that they might be your bench for the future and because there is so much influence in those state and local positions that can really affect everyday life,” he said.

But it’s Buttigieg’s trajectory that is being talked about more and more nowadays.

Whispers about his future plans grew louder after he confirmed he was one of several Democrats to meet in private with President Barack Obama recently.

“I don’t really want to get into a lot of details about all that other than to say that President Obama has made it clear that he wants a big part of his post-presidency to be about supporting the next generation.”

Buttigieg says for now his eyes aren’t focused on the White House, they’re focused on the city he serves.

“The national talk is flattering,” he said. “I think it reflects well on what we’ve been able to do as a community but I also know not to let it carry me away because at the end of the day, the only reason that the country is interested in South Bend is because South Bend is doing well and we have to make sure it stays that way.”

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