Pete Buttigieg opens field office in Iowa City

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg drew a crowd of over 800 people at his College Green Park event on Monday, after speaking at a newly-opened Iowa City field office.


Hannah Kinson

South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks with voters at College Green Park in Iowa City on Monday, Sept. 2. (Hanna Kinson/The Daily Iowan)

Caleb McCullough, Politics Reporter

Local volunteers and supporters packed South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s newly-opened Iowa City field office on Monday to hear the candidate speak before his larger campaign stop in College Green Park. 

Buttigieg highlighted his campaign’s one-on-one relational organizing — campaign staffers forming relationships with local voters — as the thing that will set his campaign apart from the others in the Democratic field. 

“This is how we’re going to win Iowa,” Buttigieg said at his Iowa City field office. “And Iowa is how we’re going to win the nomination, and that’s how we’re going to win the presidency.” 

It was Buttigieg’s second field office opening of the day, after speaking at a new office in Cedar Rapids. The campaign plans to open 20 field offices in the weeks before the Polk County Steak Fry on Sept. 21. The campaign also announced Monday that it hired 36 additional organizers in Iowa amounting to nearly 100 full-time staffers in the state. 

Location of Buttigieg’s Iowa City office:

Following the remarks in his field office, Buttigieg headed to College Green Park, where a crowd of over 800 people were waiting to hear him speak. 

Buttigieg echoed his message in the field office, saying that at this point in the election cycle, forming relationships with voters will be essential to winning the nomination.

“This is about reaching out and finding your neighbors and your classmates and your friends and your coworkers, and enlisting them in a project that is nothing less than changing the trajectory of this country right now,” Buttigieg said. 

Buttigieg brought attention to a wide range of topics during his speech, including economic imbalance, climate action, gun violence, white nationalism, and election security. 

Earlier in the day, Buttigieg attended the Hawkeye Labor Council Picnic in Cedar Rapids with four fellow Democratic candidates, and he continued his pro-labor message in Iowa City. 

“The presidency I’m asking you to help me build is one that honors freedom in its richest sense, recognizing that there is more to freedom than cutting a regulation on a corporation somewhere,” he said in Iowa City. “If we’re going to deliver freedom in our time, that includes the freedom to organize for better conditions and better pay, especially on this Labor Day.”

Buttigieg also spoke on election reform, calling for a number of changes to election procedures. He suggested designating the November election day as a national holiday, implementing automatic voter registration, and addressing gerrymandering, among other things. 

University of Iowa sophomore Jake Stevenson said Buttigieg is the candidate who has most of his support. 

“I love his views on education and gun safety and women’s rights,” he said. “It’s great seeing an LGBT individual run for office.” 

McKenna Raimer is a member of the Hawkeyes for Pete student organization, which organizes tabling and outreach events on campus. Raimer said she was drawn to support Buttigieg because he is more moderate than some of the other Democratic candidates. 

“Mayor Pete combines some of those traditional conservative values with more social progression, which I think is really important,” Raimer said. “He’s a veteran, he’s worried about health care, he’s involved with bringing jobs back to the U.S., and I think that’s really important.”


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