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Politics Liberal Veterans’ Group Endorses Pete Buttigieg in 2020 Race

13:40  04 december  2019
13:40  04 december  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — VoteVets, the political action committee that backs liberal veterans running for office, has endorsed Pete Buttigieg for president, the first major organization to support the mayor of South Bend, Ind.

The 2020 presidential campaign of Pete Buttigieg is a political campaign for the presidency of the United States by Pete Buttigieg , the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — VoteVets, the political action committee that backs liberal veterans running for office, has endorsed Pete Buttigieg for president, the first major organization to support the mayor of South Bend, Ind.

a group of people in a room: Pete Buttigieg speaking at a campaign event in Denison, Iowa, last month.© Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times Pete Buttigieg speaking at a campaign event in Denison, Iowa, last month.

The endorsement brings Mr. Buttigieg, a former Navy officer who served in Afghanistan, new defenders in a 2020 Democratic presidential contest that has seen better known candidates drop out as polling shows early-state voters coalescing around the four leading candidates.

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The gay 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is redefining what is possible in US politics, campaigners say.

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Jon Soltz, the co-founder and chairman of VoteVets, said that other campaigns weren’t taking on Mr. Buttigieg directly but that they were using opposition research to try and “hold back his momentum.”

He added: “They haven’t really been able to do it and now it’s a question of what is Pete’s coalition? We feel it’s important to jump into the breach and let people know that VoteVets is the start of that coalition.”

VoteVets will make a maximum contribution to the Buttigieg campaign, Mr. Soltz said, but its most significant support may come from the organization’s super PAC and its 501(c)(4) arm, which can engage in issue advocacy and is not required to disclose its donors.

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Check out Pete Buttigieg ’s candidate profile page ». Signature issues: Has pitched himself as a bipartisan problem-solver, but has also endorsed liberal causes like universal health care. Withdrew from the presidential race in August, saying that failing to qualify for the September debate was fatal

Pete Buttigieg is a role model to mayors. We proudly endorse him from heartland towns, coastal cities and suburban communities across this country. We see exactly that in Pete Buttigieg , mayor of South Bend, Indiana. South Bend is a quintessential American city, with big challenges and ever

The VoteVets endorsement for Mr. Buttigieg means that of the four leading candidates, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is the only one without an outside organization poised to purchase TV ads on her behalf. Unite the Country plans to soon start running ads for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has the National Nurses United’s super PAC, which spent $5 million backing him in 2016 and has yet to buy TV time this cycle.

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A super PAC backing Senator Kamala Harris of California was set to begin advertisements in Iowa before she dropped out of the race on Tuesday, and United We Win, a super PAC supporting Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, launched in November with the goal of helping Mr. Booker qualify for the December debate. The group has spent $1 million and is funding a TV ad in Iowa that attacks Mr. Buttigieg.

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A major political group dedicated to electing LGBTQ candidates has endorsed Democrat Pete Buttigieg for president in 2020 . LGBTQ Victory Fund gave the gay 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, its endorsement during a World Pride campaign event in New York on Friday.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a former member of the Navy Reserve. Use of Mayor Buttigieg ’s military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.

Mr. Buttigieg said Tuesday that he is “thrilled” to have the endorsement of VoteVets, which has spent more than $100 million to back Democratic candidates since 2006, when Mr. Soltz, a two-tour Iraq War veteran, helped found the organization.

“VoteVets has been a voice for some time and become a very important voice for veterans,” Mr. Buttigieg said during an interview in Okatie, S.C., on Tuesday. “For a lot of folks in my generation, the post-9/11 veterans, it’s a huge honor to have their support.”

The endorsement of Mr. Buttigieg is a snub to Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, an Iraq War veteran whom VoteVets supported in her 2012 House primary race and in her re-election bids since. Mr. Soltz said he has “always expected great things from Tulsi Gabbard and that sentiment does not change because of this decision.”

Though all of the leading Democratic presidential candidates have at one point said they did not want super PACs to influence the party’s primary, none have explicitly condemned the super PACs that have spent on their behalf.

At the first stop of her campaign in January, Ms. Warren called for all candidates in the race to “to link arms and say we’re going to do this with grass roots funding.”

Mr. Buttigieg did not disavow potential VoteVets super PAC spending on his behalf.

“A candidate’s got no involvement in that sort of thing,” he said.

Asked if he would request the VoteVets super PAC not to spend funds on his behalf, Mr. Buttigieg replied: “I’m not going to get involved in that.”

This week, VoteVets Action Fund, the group’s 501(c)(4) arm, spent $1.5 million on TV ads in Michigan to support Senator Gary Peters, a Democrat facing re-election in 2020.

The group has been active mostly in House races and has never before spent significant sums on a presidential primary.

“We feel that he has the most credibility and the most experience to lead our federal government,” Mr. Soltz said of Mr. Buttigieg. “There’s nobody better to end the Afghanistan war than a person who fought in it.”

Nick Corasaniti and Katie Glueck contributed reporting from New York.

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