A little more than two months since his last stop in Mason City, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will make his return on Wednesday with a town hall at the North Iowa Events Center.
The event is set for a 6:50 p.m. start with doors opening at the Events Center at 6:20 p.m.
When the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana previously stopped in Mason City, it was in the midst of a polling surge that temporarily pushed him ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden and just behind Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. During the event itself, Buttigieg delivered a speech organized around the question of "What will American need?" on the day after the 2020 election.
The 37-year-old's remedy was finding a common ground of values such as love of country without an embrace of nationalism, loyalty to allies, concern for future generations and comfort to those who feel abandoned.
In front of about 500 people in Mason City on Sunday night, Mayor Pete Buttigieg suggested nothing in politics could happen without hope and that some of his plans for action could bring it back.
Since then, the youngest candidate in the race has rolled out plans and criticized President Donald Trump's handling of Iran while received a few criticisms of his own.
On Friday, Buttigieg's campaign released a "Building for the 21st Century" infrastructure plan that they said would create six million jobs while spending about $10 billion for workforce training such as pre-apprenticeship programs. The plan also makes room for a $100 billion investment in a "Lead-Safe Communities Fund" and includes a way to reduce water bills for 10 million families.
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At the last debate, Buttigieg was dinged for holding splashy fundraisers but it's his time as mayor that's been questioned more often, particularly among those in the party worried about Buttigieg's support among African Americans.
A recent article from the Los Angeles Times pointed to a forthcoming housing report on Indiana's fourth largest city that says: "The Greater South Bend area has become 'more segregated between White and African American/Black residents since 2010'" which is two years before Buttigieg first took office. But the article itself makes clear that the report did not examine segregation data in South Bend alone, though the city is "by far the most populous town in the metropolitan statistical area that was analyzed."
Buttigieg's campaign has attempted to rebut such charges by pointing to his record of devoting resources to affordable housing programs and by spotlighting praise from civil rights leaders such as NAACP President Michael Patton who said he was "grateful" for Buttigieg's local work.
But such critiques haven't done much to slow down Buttigieg in Iowa and New Hampshire.
With a little more than three weeks until Iowans go to caucus, Buttigieg is in a statistical tie in the Hawkeye State with Sanders and Biden (according to the Real Clear Politics average). In the first primary state, New Hampshire, the RCP average shows Buttigieg a half a point behind Biden and three points behind Sanders. As far as national polling averages, he's sitting in fourth behind: Warren, Sanders and Biden.
RSVPs for the event aren't necessary but are encouraged by the campaign. That can be done through the campaign's "Iowa for Pete" page on Mobilize.US.
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Reach Reporter Jared McNett at 641-421-0527. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @TwoHeadedBoy98.