South Bend Tribune reports Pete Buttigieg’s absences, says mayor out of nearly 50% of the time
The South Bend Tribune reported Monday that the city is doing well despite Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s continued absences as he spends nearly half of his time out of town campaigning to win the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
“Of the 120 days from Feb. 1 through May 31, Buttigieg was away or plans to be away from the South Bend area at least 55 days, or 45 percent of the calendar days,” the local newspaper reported, citing the mayor’s daily calendar, news stories and information online.
While Mr. Buttigieg didn’t formally announce his candidacy until last month, he announced he was exploring a run for president in January and has been traveling ever since, in part to promote his new memoir, “Shortest Way Home.”
“Over the four-month span, Buttigieg has or will have been to New York city at least 10 times, Los Angeles and New Hampshire five times, and made four trips each to Washington, D.C., and Iowa,” the Tribune reported.
Common Council President Tim Scott told the newspaper that the city’s department heads have been running the show during Mr. Buttigieg’s absences and that things are going “smoothly.”
“It was one of those, ‘Let’s see how things go,’ and so far they’ve gone smoothly,” Mr. Scott said. “He’s got good, talented people as department heads. I have had no issues dealing with them. Realistically they’re the ones keeping the city running. I’m sure he’s in touch with them electronically and I can always reach him by phone or email if I need to. Someone running for the highest office in the land, of course he’s going to be gone a lot.”
Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign spokesman, Chris Meagher, said the mayor is frequently in contact with his administration.
“It’s an economy of time and making sure that when he is on the ground, he gets time with his direct reports and decisions are teed up, and he makes some chances to engage with the community,” Mr. Meagher told the Tribune. “When he’s on the road, he’s patched into meetings, he’s in constant contact with his office.”