Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg Reuters

Pete Buttigieg, the gay veteran who has earned national attention for leading the revitalization of South Bend, Indiana, where he is mayor, joined a crowded pack of Democrats seeking the party’s presidential nomination.

Buttigieg, 37, emphasized in his announcement Wednesday the three attributes that make him stand out in a field of eight candidates who so far have declared: “Pete Buttigieg is a millennial Mayor, Afghanistan war veteran, and husband,” his presidential campaign page said.

Buttigieg gained national attention in 2017 when he emerged out of nowhere as a credible candidate to take over the Democratic National Committee; he had the backing in that race of Susan Turnbull, a former vice chairwoman of the DNC who has been a leader of a number of Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Jewish Women International.

Tom Perez, the former secretary of labor, secured the DNC top stop, but Buttigieg has since then earned a national profile, most recently in a magazine cover profile in the Sunday Washington Post.

Buttigieg would be the first openly gay major ticket nominee, although not the first candidate; Fred Karger, who is Jewish and gay, sought the Republican nomination in 2012.