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Pete Buttigieg campaigns in Waterloo

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Pete Buttigieg is trailing in recent polls but he is not ready to give up on Iowa.

With just two days to go, the former mayor made multiple stops across the state on Saturday where Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart welcomed him to a crowd of 500.

Waterloo is the most racially diverse city in the state, and Hart is its first African American mayor.

He says Buttigieg’s work in South Bend is a model for Waterloo and for the future.

“He inherited a community that had challenges prior to him getting there just like I had and it’s just amazing because mayors can’t run from those problems. We have to run to them and that’s what I’ve seen him doing while he was there,” Hart said.

Mayor Hart’s endorsement is one of a handful of recent endorsements by black elected officials.

Buttigieg is hoping to boost turnout in more diverse communities like this one.

“I have shared a lot of conversations with Mayor Hart about the importance of lifting up in particular those who’ve been most excluded… it lines up with the story of my own community and it lines up with what I envision as far as the future of the middle of the country being diverse, forward-looking and empowered,” Buttigieg said.

His opponents Joe Biden and Tom Steyer held competing events in the city Saturday, but Hart believes Buttigieg’s campaign resonates within his constituents.

“We’re right in the middle of the country and oftentimes our voices are forgotten... It’s going to take a person that has an inclusive vision to be able to bridge this country and move us forward,” Hart said.

The turnout of non-white voters in Waterloo could be an important first indicator of the campaign’s viability in more diverse communities as the race unfolds.

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