The only Hoosier seeking the Democratic presidential nomination will be the keynote speaker when the Young Democrats of America convene in Indiana's capital city for the first time in the organization's 87-year history.
Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, is slated to address more than 1,000 participants at the largest gathering of young Democrats in the country July 18 at Indianapolis' Union Station.
"As a young mayor and leading presidential candidate seeking to represent an unheard generation of voices, Mayor Pete speaks directly to the change happening right now across our country," said IYD National Committeewoman Arielle Brandy, a South Bend native.
Buttigieg, a U.S. Navy veteran, first was elected mayor in 2011 at age 29. After coming out as gay, he was re-elected in 2015 with 80% of the vote.
Numerous public opinion polls show Buttigieg currently ranks among the top five candidates in the crowded field of Democratic presidential contenders.
"The Young Democrats of America have fought for a moment like this — a millennial candidate for president who brings with him the new perspective of our generation," said Danielle Glover, YDA executive vice president.
"Mayor Pete understands firsthand the weight on our generation's shoulders as we work to solve the problems created by politicians who won’t live to see the repercussions."
Also speaking at the July 17-20 convention are state Rep. Chris Chyung, D-Dyer, a 26-year-old who last year toppled a powerful Republican incumbent to win a seat in the Indiana House; and state Sen. J.D. Ford, D-Indianapolis, a Purdue University Northwest graduate and the first openly gay member of the Indiana General Assembly.
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