Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg campaigns in North Charleston

Updated: May. 6, 2019 at 3:20 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - One of the almost two dozen candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination spoke with voters at North Charleston High School Sunday night.

This is Pete Buttigieg’s first visit to South Carolina since officially announcing his bid for president in early April.

The millennial candidate said that he has an advantage over the other blue-ticket candidates because he feels he knows what young people want.

“People are looking for a message that speaks to this country, a generational change,” Buttigieg says.

If the South Bend, Indiana candidate snags the nomination, he would not only be the youngest president, but the first one that’s openly gay.

Some supporters say they support him for his strong political message, but it “doesn’t hurt that he is part of the LGBT community.”

“That just happens to be who he is, it doesn’t define him or his platform,” said Tony Castelli, a supporter.

Buttigieg says although he could potentially break barriers, he’s running on policy, not personality.

“We need someone to beat the current president and show what America is missing out on while we live through the chaos currently,” Buttigieg says. “I think that’s part of why we can cut through all the Democrats already running in this field.”

He says he’s here to win over everyone, not just those voting a blue ticket.

South Carolina is traditionally a “red” state, but Buttigieg says he knows he has his work cut out for him.

“I know what it’s like to be a progressive in a red state you don’t have to be a Democrat to believe in these values,” the candidate says.

The Republican National Committee responded to his visit to the Lowcountry saying “Since Pete Buttigieg has no accomplishments as Mayor to run on, you can find him campaigning on an extreme agenda supported by the radical left instead. His embrace of abolishing the Electoral College, infanticide, a government-takeover of health care, and the job-killing Green New Deal proves he is out of touch with South Carolinians.”

Buttigieg says this tour stop was just the first of many visits to Charleston planned for his time on the campaign trail.

He says he plans to be back several times over the next year and a half.

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