Monday morning, the community of Britt had an unexpected visit from presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who was on a four- day bus tour though the state.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Buttigieg was greeted by Britt Mayor Ryan Arndorfer, who has been involved in campaigning for Buttigieg.

“I was one of the fifty mayors from across the country who earlier this year endorsed Mayor Pete Buttigieg through an opinion/editorial in USA Today,” said Mayor Arndorfer. “Ever since then I’ve been a part of working with his local organizer here in north central Iowa to get his message out and introduce him to people.”

Arndorfer said since Buttigieg was coming back to Iowa for the Liberty and Justice celebration in Des Moines, he planned his second four-day bus tour through the state.

Buttigieg's stops included Mason City and Algona.

“Since, I’d been involved in his campaign from early on,” Arndorfer said, “they reached out to see about making a stop in Britt and asked if I could show Mayor Pete around and that’s what we were able to do today. Mayor Pete was really interested in what’s going on in rural communities like ours.”

Arndorfer and Buttigieg walked through the downtown, starting out by the library and city hall, then to the veteran memorial, City Park, then a stop at the Hobo House for coffee.

“Mary Jo even let him sign the wall which is usually just for hobos,” Arndorfer said. “He had the chance to talk to some community members who were visiting the establishment, and we came back out and walked over to Veterans Park.”

Arndorfer said he felt it was important for people to know when it comes to voters in Iowa, almost half the population lives in communities of 500 people or less.

“So, for Britt to have the opportunity to share our story with Mayor Buttigieg is really important," Arndorfer said, "especially, because he is traveling with a large press group. We had media from New York Times, CNN, Washington Post and several others. All those people, now, were seeing our community, tweeting out about our town and Mayor Pete."

Arndorfer said it was great exposure for the town of Britt.

"It’s not every day other people from other towns are hearing about Britt. I think it’s really great whether you democrat or republican, that it seems like Mayor Pete is really speaking a message that is connecting to a lot of people," Arndorfer said. "I think there is a lot focus for rural Iowa for his campaign, and I think that is great. He is really just focusing on shared values, freedom, and security and what that means for Iowans and the rest of the country.”

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Jesusa Christians is the Community Editor of the Forest City/Britt Summit-Tribune.


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