Get ready to hear a lot more about Pete Buttigieg’s politics on a national stage.
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor announced on his Twitter that he has reached 65,000 donors, the minimum threshold needed to participate in the official Democratic presidential debates.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) March 16, 2019
“We are building a community that believes in this bold vision for the future, and there are tens of thousands of people (75,025 to be exact) around the country who invested because they believe a midwestern, millennial, war veteran, mayoral voice should be part of the conversation,” a spokesman with the Pete for America Exploratory Committee told a local Indiana ABC affiliate.
Buttigieg is an Afghanistan war veteran who came out to his constituents in 2015 in an essay published in the South Bend Tribune, Mashable reports. After a CNN Town Hall in March, he experienced a surge in donations of over $600,000 in 24 hours.
Democrats have 12 debates scheduled ahead of the primary season, the first of which will happen in June.
Buttigieg, who has spoken before on why America is ready for a gay president, issued a statement to South Bend’s Muslim community over the weekend after an anti-Muslim shooting at a New Zealand mosque left at least 49 dead and dozens more injured.
“As you gather this evening, I write to tell you that this City is absolutely committed to your safety and well-being. I want you to know that this entire City has its arms around you, in love and peace, and that we support you as you practice your faith here in this community, our community, this home we share,” he wrote. “The diversity of our community is its strength, and the members of the Islamic community have greatly enriched this City, in your worship, in your service, even by the diversity of nationalities among your number. We would be poorer without you.”