Hoosiers should not expect to find former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's name on an Indiana ballot next year.
The U.S. transportation secretary laughed heartily last week when asked in an exclusive interview with The Times whether he might consider running in 2022 for Indiana state treasurer, as he did in 2010.
"Safe to say that's out of my lane," Buttigieg quipped.
Buttigieg was just 28 years old when he was nominated by the Indiana Democratic Party to compete against Republican incumbent Richard Mourdock for state treasurer.
In perhaps a premonition of things to come, Buttigieg's campaign focused in part on transportation issues relating to the bankruptcy and merger of the Chrysler auto manufacturing company.
Records show Mourdock tried to stop the federal government from rescuing Chrysler in an effort to preserve the value of Mourdock's investment of millions of dollars of state funds in Chrysler "junk bonds."
Mourdock ultimately lost that battle. But he won on Election Day, defeating the novice Democratic candidate 62% to 37%.
Buttigieg rebounded from that loss by winning the 2011 election for South Bend mayor, winning reelection in 2015, and running for president of the United States in 2020 — a heck of a decade by any measure.
While Buttigieg lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Joe Biden, the president in December selected Buttigieg to lead the nation's transportation department.
Looking back, Buttigieg said even though state treasurer now is in his rear-view mirror, he hopes "a great candidate, or great candidates" decide to run next year for the Democratic nomination.
"I'm a big believer in great people stepping forward for statewide offices that might be considered unglamorous," Buttigieg said. "So I hope something good happens."