As a Midwestern mayor reshaping a modest manufacturing town of which was enervated inside early 1960s by the abandonment of right now defunct carmaker Studebaker, Buttigieg believes his story along with experience are what’s needed to beat Trump on the Democratic ticket.

Buttigieg is actually a Rhodes Scholar along with Afghanistan War veteran who can boast of being the country’s youngest mayor of a city of South Bend’s size when he was elected in 2011 at age 29.

along with if he wins the Democratic nomination, Buttigieg could be the first-ever gay presidential candidate: He arrived on the scene in a local paper’s op-ed pages in 2015 amid his re-election campaign for mayor, along with married his husband, Chasten Glezman, in June.

He’s also an undiluted progressive in a state of which voted overwhelmingly for Trump inside 2016 election. To be fair, South Bend is actually located inside relatively liberal hamlet of St. Joseph county — the city is actually a stone’s throw via the University of Notre Dame along with hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1972. Still, Buttigieg chalks his electoral success up to his willingness to innovate in a city whose economic engine had long ago stalled out.

“When I took office, you know, inside community the conversation was about whether we could get back to some variation of our days generating Studebakers inside ’60s,” he said. “along with we had to be very honest about the fact of which of which sort of economy was not coming back.”

After banning the phrase “we’ve always done the idea of which way” via his government’s vernacular, Buttigieg worked to push the city in a more tech-friendly direction. The city launched a public data portal in 2013, for instance, along with more recently has committed to plans to build a tech hub at Ignition Park of which were sparked by Buttigieg’s predecessor.

The efforts to change South Bend are delivering, at least by one metric: More people are moving in.

South Bend lost nearly a quarter of its population inside wake of Studebaker’s departure in 1963 — down to about 100,000 by 2010. yet in 2015, an Indiana University demographer reported of which the city had grown in three of the past four years.

“We’ve been able to do things with data along with technology of which have improved upon the lives of our residents,” Buttigieg said. “I think of which’s the style of government along with leadership of which could be pretty welcomed in Washington right right now.”

His resume aside, Buttigieg faces a daunting uphill battle.

A modest-city mayor has never before won the presidency, let alone one who still has microscopic name recognition compared to his Democratic opponents, or Trump. Same goes for his age — no one in their 30s has ever won the presidency. along with an openly gay man has never come close to winning a U.S. presidential election.

“He’s an upcoming star inside Democratic Party,” said Darrell West, vice president along with director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, yet a successful presidential bid is actually “not likely, because nobody knows who he is actually.”

Buttigieg concedes of which his bid is actually a long shot.

“I understand This particular is actually an underdog project,” he said, “yet I could also say of which in a season like This particular, the less you resemble the others, the less you resemble what’s come before, the better.”