2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks with News 8 after picking up CT endorsements

News 8 Exclusive

NEW CANAAN, Conn. (WTNH)– South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg brought his upstart presidential campaign to Connecticut and picked up two key endorsements.

One is State Senator Bob Duff, the majority leader in the Connecticut State Senate, who endorsed Buttigieg in New Canaan. State Rep Cristin McCarthy Vahey, of from Fairfield, also endorsed Buttigieg.

The two Connecticut legislators said they’ve known the mayor for years. They said they’ve worked with him in a networking group of elected officials. They said it was really a no brainer for them to come out early in supporting him.

News 8 Gorgie Colli asked Buttigieg how important the local endorsements like these are for him in building up his grassroots campaign.

“It’s very important because politics is all about relationships. And one thing we need to do is make sure that voters who maybe haven’t heard much about me get to hear from people who do. So Senator Duff and Rep. McCarthy Vahey are people who I’ve known for years in the community of elected officials from the new generation who are very solutions-oriented and it means a lot to me to have their support,” said Buttigieg.

Senator Duff said he’s known Buttigieg for about 9 years. He believes the mayor is inspiring people the same way President Obama did during his first campaign.

“He’s getting this grassroots support from folks. He’s smart. He’s good. He’s caring. He’s capable. He’s got great leadership skills. He’d make an excellent president,” said Duff.

Rep. McCarthy Vahey said Buttigieg is well-grounded and what you see on stage or in a debate is the same guy you see in a one on one conversation.

“He brings reason. He brings sensibility and he brings real values talking about freedom and security and democracy,” said McCarthy Vahey.

Buttigieg is in the top five in the crowded Democratic field in most national polls but is dwarfing the majority of candidates when it comes to fundraising. Something the leader of city of 100,000 people did not anticipate as he planned his run for the White House.

“It’s what you would call a good problem to have. The speed of the growth of this campaign was more than we had planned on. We figured on a slow burn while we got our organization and resources together instead in a matter of weeks we went from being completely obscure to being among the top tier,” said Buttigieg.

Watch the full interview below:

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