Gay mayor Pete Buttigieg is officially running for president

Pete Buttigieg poses for a photo which is on his Facebook page

Openly gay mayor Pete Buttigieg has announced his candidacy for US president.

The Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, joined an expanding Democratic field on Wednesday (January 23) with a long-shot bid that could see him become the first openly gay presidential nominee for a major party.

Buttigieg, a 37-year-old Afghanistan veteran who married his husband, teacher Chasten Glezman, last year, emphasised his youth and progressive nature in the video launching his 2020 presidential campaign.

Watch Pete Buttigieg’s video launching his bid for president:

In the video, Buttigieg says: “I belong to a generation that is stepping forward right now.

“We’re the generation that lived through school shootings, that served in the wars after 9/11, and we’re the generation that stands to be the first to make less than our parents unless we do something different.”

“We can’t just polish off a system so broken. It is a season for boldness and a focus on the future.”

— Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg continues: “The reality is, there’s no going back, and there’s no such thing as ‘again’ in the real world.

“We can’t look for greatness in the past. Right now, our country needs a fresh start.”

He adds: “We can’t just polish off a system so broken. It is a season for boldness and a focus on the future.”

Pete Buttigieg with his husband Chasten Glezman in the candidate's first presidential campaign video

Pete Buttigieg married his husband Chasten Glezman in 2018 (Pete for America/facebook)

“There’s a new generation of voices emerging in our country,” says Buttigieg, “walking away from the politics of the past and ready to deliver on our priorities.

“There is no ‘again’ in the real world. That’s no bad thing. We’re ready for a fresh start.”

Pete Buttigieg is ready for an underdog battle

He follows more high-profile politicians like Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Julián Castro in formally entering the race.

Buttigieg told supporters in an email on January 23 that he was “aware of the odds” against the mayor of a town of around 100,000 people becoming the Democratic nominee for president, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“But,” he continued, “I am exploring this run because I can offer a different experience and perspective than anyone else.

“I believe that at a moment like this, underdog campaigns will go further than the establishment would normally allow.”

Buttigieg has set up an exploratory committee for president, which will allow him to raise and spend money on his campaign.

The former candidate for Democratic National Committee chairman, who is the youngest entrant in the race so far, had long sign-posted his run for president.

He announced in December he would not seek a third term as Mayor of South Bend, and has visited the key presidential primary state of Iowa and written a book about his life that is set to be published in February.