Pete Buttigieg becomes first major candidate to file at Secretary of State’s office

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  • Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg gets an ovation from the crowd during a rally on Wednesday at the New Hampshire State House. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg signs a large rendition of himself at the New Hampshire State House during a rally on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks to the crowd at the New Hampshire State House during a rally on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg greets the crowd at the New Hampshire State House during a rally on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Pete Buttigieg supporters came out Wednesday to hear the South Bend, Ind., Democratic mayor give a speech in front of the New Hampshire State House. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

For the Monitor
Published: 10/30/2019 5:29:49 PM

Minutes after becoming the first major Democratic presidential candidate to file to place his name on the first-in-the-nation presidential primary ballot, Pete Buttigieg predicted his star will keep rising thanks to the Granite State.

“I think New Hampshire is the state that will really catapult me toward success in the nomination,” Buttigieg predicted in an interview with the Monitor.

The South Bend, Ind., mayor was a one-time extreme long-shot for the nomination who soared over the spring and is surging again in the autumn.

Asked where he needs to finish in New Hampshire’s February primary, the candidate demurred.

“I’m not going to set up the goal posts just yet,” he said.

Pointing to Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – who hail from the neighboring states of Massachusetts and Vermont, Buttigieg noted that “obviously there’s some competitors with a neighborhood advantage.”

Buttigieg spoke with the Monitor in the hallways of the State House, minutes after joining longtime New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner to officially file to place his name on the ballot.

In a short news conference moments later, Buttigieg said he’s “counting on” winning New Hampshire.

“It’s all about speaking to New Hampshire voters about how your life will be different with me as president versus the others,” he said. “Sometimes, we see politics drift away from what it’s really about, which is everyday life and how it’s affected by the decisions made in Washington.”

Buttigieg said he stands to do well here because of the roughly 40% of Granite States who say they’re undeclared voters.

“The other thing I’m drawn to in New Hampshire is that there is a very independent turn of mind here and there’s a lot of folks who see how scrambled and how troubled our politics are right now and are looking for what it was going to take to turn the page,” he said. “I think New Hampshire voters are ready to turn that page.”

Hours before Buttigieg arrived in Concord, a new national poll from Politico and the Morning Consult suggested that 37% of registered voters said they were either definitely or probably not ready for a president who is gay.

Buttigieg, who if elected would become the country’s first openly gay president, told the Monitor he believes differently.

“I think the biggest thing on the minds of voters is whether they’re getting paid enough, whether they’re going to be able to get health care, how they’re going to save for retirement,” he said.

He said talking to voters about their concerns is what matters.

“I think it’s how we can get past a lot of old prejudices as America has time and time again proven itself capable of moving forward and not back on these issues,” he said.

Buttigieg – who at 37 is the youngest candidate in the field of White House contenders – arrived in the Granite State one day after a new poll from the University of New Hampshire indicated he stood in fourth place among likely Democratic primary voters, at 10%. Ahead of him were Sanders at 21%, Warren at 18%, and former Vice President Joe Biden at 15%.

After filing, Buttigieg headlined a rally in front of hundreds of supports outside the State House.




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