‘Mayor Pete’ joins 2020 Dem race as face of new generation


Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind.

Pete Buttigieg, the little-known Indiana mayor who has risen to prominence in the early stages of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, made his official campaign entrance Sunday by claiming the mantle of a youthful generation ready to reshape the country.

“I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor,” he said to cheers of “Pete, Pete, Pete” from an audience assembled in a former Studebaker auto plant. “More than a little bold, at age 37, to seek the highest office in the land.”

The South Bend mayor, a Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan War veteran who has been essentially campaigning since January, has joined a dozen-plus rivals vying to take on President Donald Trump.

“The forces of change in our country today are tectonic,” he said. “Forces that help to explain what made this current presidency even possible. That’s why, this time, it’s not just about winning an election – it’s about winning an era.”

Buttigieg will return this week to Iowa and New Hampshire, which hold the nation’s first nominating contests, to campaign as a full-fledged candidate now being taken more seriously.

Buttigieg’s poll numbers have climbed. Some polls put him behind only Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who sought the party’s nomination in 2016, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet said he’s running.

Other candidates and potential candidates were busy Sunday as well.

JOE BIDEN

Joe Biden is finalizing the framework for a White House campaign that would cast him as an extension of Barack Obama’s presidency and political movement. He’s betting that the majority of Democratic voters are eager to return to the style and substance of that era – and that they’ll view him as the best option to lead the way back.

The former vice president has begun testing the approach as he nears an expected campaign launch later this month. After remarks at a recent labor union event, Biden said he was proud to be an “Obama-Biden Democrat,” coining a term that his advisers define as pragmatic and progressive, and a bridge between the working-class white voters who have long had an affinity for Biden and the younger, more diverse voters who backed Obama in historic numbers.

KAMALA HARRIS

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris has released 15 years of tax returns, including her returns for 2018, and the California senator reports that she and her husband had a federal tax bill of about $700,000 on an adjusted gross joint income of about $1.9 million last year.

The documents released Sunday provide the fullest picture of her finances as she pursues a White House bid.

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