ATLANTA — After the ASDC election at the end of a marathon day of Democratic National Committee meetings, elections and ballot counts, I walked by the bar in the Westin Hotel where several Democratic delegates, candidates, and activists had gathered to drink, socialize, and celebrate the end of the party’s winter meeting.
As I was passing by, I happened to walk past South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was by himself talking to people. I had briefly interviewed him previously at the Houston airport protest a few weeks earlier, and I was wearing my press credential, but I don’t know if he recognized me. I walked up, said hello, and asked what was next for him.
“Potholes,” he responded – a reference to his day job as mayor of South Bend.
I told him I had a feeling people hadn’t seen the last of him after this DNC race, and asked if he would be involved with supporting other Democratic candidates and campaigns coming up over the next few months and years. He said he was up to it, but nothing was planned so far.
Finally, I asked when his current term was up, and he told me 2019. I said farewell and went on my way. Mayor Buttigieg didn’t say anything about this during my conversation with him, but I did some research on the election calendar after that conversation and noticed that Eric Holcomb, Indiana’s Republican governor, is up for re-election in 2020.
A lot happens during the course of a single campaign, let alone over the course of several years. If Buttigieg decides to run to be the Hoosier State’s chief executive, especially if he continues to raise his national profile among Democratic leaders and activists over the next three years, he would probably have a very real shot at locking down his party’s nomination and, depending on the political climate when President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence (a native Hoosier and former governor) are running for a second term, he could possibly win it.