Even without Hillary in the White House, America could soon have its first First Gentleman.
Pete Buttigieg, the married and openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced on December 17 that he won’t seek a third term in office. Almost immediately, his name was bandied about as a possible presidential candidate for 2020.
For the record, the 36-year-old declined to comment to the Associated Press about any Oval Office ambitions. But he is keeping his options open, saying:
“I don’t think it’s a secret that we’re looking at things, and we’ll continue to do so going into the new year.”
Buttigieg also told the press he doesn’t expect to make any announcements about his political future before January. That timing might be significant, though: He’s publishing a memoir about his life this February.
The rising politico is a former Rhodes Scholar who became South Bend’s mayor at age 29 in 2011. He served as a Naval Reserve officer in Afghanistan in 2014. And the following year, he came out as gay.
“It took years of struggle and growth for me to recognize that it’s just a fact of life, like having brown hair, and part of who I am,” he wrote in his coming-out column in the South Bend Tribune. “It makes me no better or worse at handling a spreadsheet, a rifle, a committee meeting, or a hiring decision.”
Just five months later, residents of the city reelected Buttigieg with more than 80 percent of the vote.
And this June, he married partner Chasten Glezman in a ceremony that coincided with the city’s Pride festival.
Buttigieg is scheduled to speak at a political dinner this weekend in Iowa alongside other potential Democratic presidential prospects, including New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who just came out as… heterosexual. (Again.)