(CNSNews.com) -- Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., who is openly gay and "married" to another man, announced on Jan. 23 that he has launched a presidential exploratory committee to determine whether he will run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Buttigieg, pronounced "boot-a-judge," is an Afghan war veteran (Naval intelligence officer), a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard and a Rhodes Scholar. He was first elected mayor of South Bend in 2011 and was reelected in 2015.
"There's a new generation of voices emerging in our country, walking away from the politics of the past and ready to deliver on our priorities," said Buttigieg on Wednesday. "There is no 'again' in the real world; that's not a bad thing. We are ready for a fresh start."
"I am obviously not stepping onto this stage as the most famous person in this conversation," he said. "But I belong to a party whose characteristic has always been to look for fresh voices, new leadership and big ideas, and I think that is what 2020 is going to be about."
Although Buttigieg apparently is a long-shot for the Democratic nomination, he has been praised by former President Barack Obama and Democratic strategist David Axelrod, among other prominent Democrats.
Buttigieg "makes a clarion new generation call in this announcement video," said Axelrod on Twitter. "Longest of longshots, but this 37-year-old gay, Afghanistan War vet has a remarkable story."
RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens said, “Before Buttigieg wastes time on a presidential campaign, he should focus on his town’s sea of potholes and sky-high crime rate. His bid isn’t just bad news for residents, it’s more proof that Democrats are about to endure the most crowded, divisive and contentious primary in history.”
Buttigieg came out of the closet as homosexual in June 2015, a revelation he did not make to South Bend voters back in 2010-11 when he first ran for mayor. In his declaration, Buttigieg mentioned that he "would like to get married one day and eventually raise a family."
On June 16, 2018, Buttigieg "married" Chasten Glezman at the Cathedral of St. James' Episcopal Church in South Bend, Ind.