2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg’s biggest political claim to fame is suddenly no more.
As of Jan. 1, Buttigieg is no longer the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. According to the Daily Caller, he just officially ended his tenure and turned leadership of the city over to his former chief of staff, James Mueller.
Rather than run for re-election in the middle of a presidential campaign, Buttigieg announced in 2018 he would not be seeking local office again.
Instead, he hand-picked a candidate to run as his successor: James Mueller, who at the time, was Buttigieg’s chief of staff.
Mueller handily won the Democrat nomination in the primary and in November 2019, he won the general election.
Buttigieg struggled mightily while trying to run the city and a national campaign at the same time, and he endured much criticism for his absence from mayoral duties since launching his campaign in January 2019.
Everything came to a head in June when a black man was shot by a police officer in Buttigieg’s city. Residents wanted their mayor to be present to handle the fall-out, but he was busy on the campaign trail.
Eventually, Buttigieg did take some time away from the campaign to address the situation, including attending a Town Hall meeting where residents lit him up over not being in the city when it needed him the most, according to CBS.
Can he win?
Despite throwing his all into the presidential election, Buttigieg is still a longshot candidate. However, he is poised to come out of the first two primaries in surprisingly good shape.
Buttigieg is leading in at least one recent poll and is set to take second place in another. And when New Hampshire and Iowa’s primaries are completed, he may come out ahead of Joe Biden.
The problem for Buttigieg, though, is that when he gets to more politically diverse states, his support takes a major hit.
While his campaign is threatening Biden right now, nationally, the former vice president still holds an edge over Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, according to Fox News — the only other real contenders in the race.