South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden's proposals spark phase 2 of supply chain crisis Biden returns restores tradition, returning to Kennedy Center Honors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE rolled out several endorsements from South Bend officials for his presidential campaign in a show of support from his hometown.
The endorsements from 11 former, current and future officials, including five sitting councilmembers and four councilmembers-elect, come after former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE won the support of South Bend Common Councilmember Oliver Davis in what was widely interpreted as a rebuke of Buttigieg and a sign of his continuing struggles to gain support of black voters.
Three of Buttigieg’s new endorsers are black.
The officials praised Buttigieg’s openness, saying his willingness to address the city’s concerns has led to marked improvements.
“As mayor, Pete has demonstrated every day the leadership our nation needs. Whenever a resident — or a Common Council member — comes to him with an idea or concern, he listens carefully and is always open to adjusting course to take into account new input," the 11 officials wrote in an op-ed in The South Bend Tribune. "When a particularly difficult problem presents itself, he brings together stakeholders to find a solution that works — even when it requires tough decisions.
“Like our country, we are a vibrant, caring, striving community — one that has made tremendous progress, but still has our best days ahead," they continued. "We are proud of the progress our city has made, proud of the leadership our mayor has demonstrated, and proud to endorse Pete Buttigieg for president of the United States.”
The endorsers also highlighted Buttigieg’s work to elevate officials of color as the mayor continues to poll in the low to mid-single digits among black and Hispanic voters.
“Pete has empowered diverse leaders in city government, including working to elect one of us, Kareemah Fowler, the first minority elected executive in South Bend history,” they wrote.
“He appointed black leaders to key department positions, and created new positions focused on community outreach and diversity and inclusion," they added. "He appointed the city’s first black woman to be city attorney, established the position of Diversity and Inclusion Officer that reported directly to the mayor, to which he appointed a black woman, and appointed diverse leaders to important boards, including the Board of Public Safety.”
The string of endorsements come as Buttigieg has found himself at or near the top in early state polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, which will hold the primary’s first two nominating contests, but still finds himself trailing by double digits in Nevada and South Carolina, the next two primary states which have electorates made up heavily of voters of color.