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US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg – who campaigned for president under the moniker “Mayor Pete”, indicating his experience as a small-town mayor in Indiana – has relocated to Michigan, Politico’s West Wing Playbook reported.
Mr Buttigieg served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, where he was born and raised, from 2012 to 2020. A spokesman for the Department of Transportation said the move to Traverse City, Michigan, is meant to help raise his and his husband Chasten’s two children, whom they adopted last year.
“Moving to Chasten’s hometown of Traverse City allowed them to be closer to his parents, which became especially important to them after they adopted their twins, often relying on Chasten’s parents for help with child care,” the person said.
The former presidential candidate often touted his time as mayor when he ran for president in 2020 and wrote a book entitled The Shortest Way Home.
But the move also could incidate Mr Buttigieg’s hopes of running for higher office in the future.
Mr Buttigieg faces little chance of winning higher office in Indiana, an overwhelmingly Republican state, whereas Michigan is a swing state with two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor. It also tends to vote Democratic for president, only having voted for a Republican once in the past 30 years, when former president Donald Trump won the state in 2016.
Mr Buttigieg had previously lost by a 2-to-1 margin when he tried running for state treasurer against Richard Murdock in Indiana in 2010 before his successful runs for mayor.
In 2020, Mr Buttigieg made history when he became the first openly gay presidential candidate to win a primary contest when he won the Iowa caucus, but he dropped out after a poor showing in the South Carolina primary. Later, he endorsed Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination and helped Kamala Harris prepare for her vice presidential debate with fellow Indianian Mike Pence.
After Mr Biden won the presidency, Mr Biden nominated Mr Buttigieg to serve as secretary of transportation, which elevated his profile after Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill.