What South Bend Says About Pete

From Wiki-PETE-ia


A poll of South Bend residents, conducted by Change Research in Dec 2019, showed some 70% percent of South Bend voters say that “life in South Bend as a result of Mayor Pete has generally gotten better.” Among non-white voters, the figure rises to 76%.”

For the 2020 election, the results are as follows: Among Democratic primary voters, Buttigieg leads the field with 26%, ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden (18%), Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (17%) and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (16%); 78% back Buttigieg’s candidacy, including 69% of non-white voters; 62% of voters favor Buttigieg in a hypothetical matchup with Trump, who garners 28%.

Here's the full poll: https://importantville.substack.com/p/scoop-mayor-petes-south-bend-polling


In the 2011 election, Pete Buttigieg, then 29-years-old, won the mayoral race against Republican challenger Wayne Curry by picking up 74% of the vote.

In the 2015 election, he won it against Republican challenger Kelly Jones by picking up 80% of the vote.[1] Voting occurred Nov 3, 2015. Buttigieg came out as gay in a local editorial on Jun 16, 2015, less than five months prior.[2]

The fact that he won reelection with 80% of the vote in conservative Indiana so shortly after coming out as gay is a strong indicator of how much residents approved of his performance in his first term as mayor.

UPDATE NOV 2019 - In the 2019 election for Pete Buttigieg's replacement for Mayor of South Bend, the Democratic candidate Pete endorsed, James Mueller, won by a large margin. Mueller ran on the campaign promise of continuing to build on Pete's legacy. He not only won overwhelmingly, he did particularly well in African American neighborhoods. In La Salle Park, a predominantly Black neighborhood, Mueller won with 90% of the vote, indicating strong support for Buttigieg.[3][4]

Demographic Breakdown

The population of South Bend was estimated to be over 101,000 in 2016. The racial composition of South Bend is:

  • White: 63.15%
  • Black or African American: 26.40%
  • Two or more races: 4.25%
  • Other race: 4.18%
  • Asian: 1.44%
  • Native American: 0.47%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.12%[5]

In other words, Buttigieg needed strong support from both the White and Black demographic in order to reach 80% of the vote.


This video made by a South Bend resident, Aesha, is a poignant look at the voices in South Bend that are not represented by the media. (VIDEO)

The Good Guy Pete podcast is run by South Bend residents and they discuss Pete Buttigieg and his impact on their community. It's extremely "Pete Positive".


Mark McDonnell, owner of LaSalle Hospitality Group in South Bend - "It's a heck of a lot better than it was five years ago. I think Pete started in the core and made a commitment, 'I'm going to improve downtown.'"[6]

Julia Chismar, economics teacher from St. Joseph High in South Bend: One school day, while rushing to get to another classroom, one of her students, a boy with learning disabilities, intercepted her in the hallway. Chismar remembers that the boy was trying to explain something to her in great and exhausting detail. Then, Buttigieg walked by and picked up on the situation. He knew the boy well and began to engage him in conversation, liberating his teacher to move on. "I watched Peter for a while. He didn't hurry him. He just stood there, listening. High school can be cliquish," observed Chismar. "But, Peter was not. He moved between groups and related to everyone. He was senior class president and was attentive to everyone." [7]

Rev. Brian Grantz, rector of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. James, and the mayor's pastor for the past decade: "He really thinks very deeply in a broad array of areas. So, his faith is integrated into his positions which you hear. His faith informs his politics and all of it informs his actions and his priorities," he added. "I think Pete's sense of duty and his sense of justice is all informed by faith and values. And you hear that in his campaign."[7]


The media has portrayed Buttigieg as having a problem with the Black residents of South Bend. Unfortunately, they interview the same two or three loud detractors time and again, while the vast majority of the 26,000 members of the Black community in South Bend are ignored.

Here are some other voices from South Bend's Black community:

  • The South Bend NAACP president, Michael Patton, went on national TV supporting Buttigieg's handling the recent Eric Logan shooting. (VIDEO) [8].
  • Pete was endorsed by the Black city clerk of South Bend, Kareemah Fowler[9]. "More than anything the values he often refers to holds true and [are] reflective of exactly who he is. I’ve been blessed to work-along side him."
  • Fowler's endorsement occurred at a reception held for Pete by Black South Bend supporters. Check the link at the reference for photos and videos from the gathering.[10].
  • An annual BBQ in South Bend is held by Curtis Walter. Mayor Pete always attends. This year, many of the folks at the BBQ spontaneously wore Pete gear as a show of solidarity. Pics here and here and here and here.
  • Resident Aesha made a video about Buttigieg and his relationship to her community. "Pete is kindness. And we need a little kindness right now."[11]
  • Resident Stacey Odom went to Buttigieg to ask for $300,000 to help fix up residences in one of the poorer neighborhoods. He listened and he gave her $650,000. "When I saw that he was willing to help, that’s what turned me,” said Odom. “That’s what said to me, this is a man that has the potential to be president."[12][13]
  • Resident AJ_Indiana posts on Twitter and supports Buttigieg's presidential campaign. She says: "The media loves to tell our story for us and they get so much of it wrong."[14] and "I feel like black people in my city of South Bend are being used. And not for the good of South Bend or this country."[15]
  • Resident Maria tweets: "I support him because of the work he has done in SB for the Latinx community." [16]

More are under the "TWEETS" section below.

See the page Racial Equity, South Bend, and The Douglass Plan for information on the programs and policies Buttigieg put into place in order to begin to address the inequality and systemic racism he inherited when he became mayor in 2012. These programs include training and grant money for Black entrepreneurs, grant money to help low-income residents fix up homes and businesses, programs for at-risk youth, improving parks and community facilities in minority neighborhoods, and police oversight, bodycams, and anti-bias training.


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READ the entire thread above here.

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  1. WDNU: "South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg wins re-election"
  2. South Bend Tribune: Why Coming Out Matters, Jun 16, 2015
  3. Joseph Molnar Tweet Thread on Mueller's election.
  4. South Bend Tribune: West side support helps drive James Mueller's South Bend mayoral win
  5. WorldPopulationReview.com: South Bend, Indiana Population 2019
  6. IndyStar "Photos: This is what South Bend looks like after Mayor Pete Buttigieg's time in office"
  7. 7.0 7.1 National Catholic Reporter: The political and faith journey of South Bend's 'Mayor Pete'
  8. The Hill tweet with Michael Patton, President of NAACP South Bend Chapter - https://mobile.twitter.com/Lis_Smith/status/1142177445174566912
  9. Kareemah Fowler, South Bend city clerk, endorses Buttigieg on Twitter - https://twitter.com/KareemahFowler/status/1117536200078897153
  10. Kareemah Fowler's endorsement and #AfricanAmericansForPete event - Twitter hashtag results.
  11. South Bend Resident "Pete is Kind" (VIDEO) - https://twitter.com/kennyedit/status/1145529743179206656
  12. Washington Monthly: How the Media Is Getting Mayor Pete’s Gentrification Story Wrong
  13. IndyStar: Pete Buttigieg says he’s mayor of a turnaround city. Here’s how that claim stands up
  14. South Bend Resident AJ "The media loves to tell our story for us and they get so much of it wrong."
  15. South Bend resident AJ tweets: "I feel like black people in my city of South Bend are being used."
  16. South Bend resident Maria tweets: "I support him because of the work he has done in SB for the Latinx community"
  17. Reddit post on policing: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pete_Buttigieg/comments/cxgfhn/new_york_times_article_pete_buttigieg_was_rising/