ANDERSON — More than 50 mayors across the country — including nearly a dozen from Indiana — have publicly endorsed Pete Buttigieg in his primary campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, but two local leaders aren’t among them.
Anderson Mayor Tom Broderick said he received an emailed invitation from the United States Conference of Mayors to sign on to the endorsement, but chose not to because he’s focused on his own mayoral campaign this fall. Broderick is seeking to become the first Anderson mayor elected to consecutive terms since J. Mark Lawler in 1999.
“I’m focused on my own race right now, but I’m continuing to watch the debates like everyone else and hear what everyone has to say,” Broderick said.
Todd Jones, a Democrat who leads Madison County’s second largest city, Elwood, likely did not receive the invitation to endorse Buttigieg, since it went only to mayors of cities with populations of more than 30,000.
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, finds himself polling nationally below an apparent top tier of presidential hopefuls which includes former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
The letter signed by 58 Democratic mayors, representing municipalities in 24 states, ran as an op-ed in USA Today on Sept. 18. It referred to Buttigieg as a political role model who has transformed South Bend and led on issues including race relations and economic development.
“We have watched Mayor Pete over the past eight years as his steady and inspired leadership has revitalized his city,” the mayors wrote. “He is showing what American leadership can and should be in the years ahead.”
With the idea that “all politics is local,” Broderick said that endorsements from leaders at the local level are noteworthy.
“I think it’s always important for national candidates to get as much local support as they can get, especially if you can acquire the endorsements of mayors that have national recognition themselves,” he said. “I think, for the most part, people are making up their own minds as far as watching the debates and reading these things in the papers.”
A message left for Jones seeking comment went unreturned.