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    Presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Ind.
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Industry: Politics

Young, handsome, openly gay, a Rhodes scholar and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan—the man they call Mayor Pete is a political unicorn who has pockets of the Democratic Party buzzing with excitement. Yet it’s not just his impressive CV and millennial-friendly appeal that’s seen Buttigieg transform, seemingly overnight, from mayor of a midsize Midwestern city into a player in national politics. A skilled orator who can command a room of any size, he comes across as articulate and genu inely accessible. How will he fare in a crowded field? Supporters say Buttigieg offers a unique blend that could pave the way forward; he’s a self-described “democratic capitalist” who embraces ideas like a single-payer health care system and the Green New Deal. Buttigieg told Fortune that his passion for “big ideas and deep moral questions” comes from his father, Joseph, a literary scholar who worked as a professor at the University of Notre Dame (not far from Buttigieg’s hometown of South Bend, Ind., where he now serves as mayor). “[My father] believed that the importance of ideas was the effect that they had in the real world and taught me the power of putting ideas into action.”

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