Alexandria, VA- A couple days ago, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson was running between meetings when he received a call on his cell phone. The caller identified himself as Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Democratic presidential candidate. At first Wilson thought the call was a prank.
“He said he calls mayors when he comes in to a new town,” Wilson said, adding that a mutual friend gave Buttegieg his number. “So, we had a good talk, he’s a good guy. He asked how my term was going, I asked him how his tour around the country is going, and I said that mayors around the country are very excited.”
The 37-year-old Buttigieg, who launched his campaign two months ago, was met by more than 600 people in a packed conference room at the Hilton Old Town. He was introduced by U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8), State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30), Del. Mark Keam (D-35) and Virginia Beach City Councilwoman Andria McClellan.
“It’s anybody’s guess as to how this is going to go,” Buttigieg said of the primary process. “Having a good showing in those early states is going to be vitally important.”
Buttigieg is one of 24 Democrats currently vying for the nomination, and isn’t the first Democratic presidential hopeful to sail through Alexandria. In April, former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke conducted a town hall.