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Sugar House Journal

Thousands of Salt Lake residents attend Pete Buttigieg rally

Feb 26, 2020 13h59 ● By Drew Crawford

Photo via Flickr.

By Drew Crawford | [email protected]

On Feb. 17, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg visited Salt Lake City to participate in a town hall at the Union Events Center. More than 5,000 people waited outside in cold temperatures to get into the event. 

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall introduced “Mayor Pete” to the audience before endorsing him as the candidate that she will vote for in November. 

After speaking for 20 minutes on his military background and why he is running for president, Buttigieg answered questions from audience members that were submitted at the beginning of the event. The topics ranged from the legalization of marijuana, public options for healthcare, and the specific actions that he will take to unite the country. 

Christa Lindley, who was previously on the fence about who to vote for, decided after the rally that she will cast her vote for the former mayor. 

“This was pretty convincing,” Lindley said. “I think that a lot of the Democrats have a lot in common and Mayor Pete drew a lot of those similarities out.”

Brock Taylor, Lindley’s husband agreed, noting that Buttigieg’s message focused more on unity.

“I am a Democrat although I’m tired of being divisive, and what really stood out for me was he’s more about bringing people together than actually just beating Trump,” Taylor said.

The couple feel that Buttigieg can help bring this message to Salt Lake City and lead by example through creating chances for people in the community to come together and serve others. 

“Utah can be a very divisive state, very polarizing,” Lindley said. “At the end, he was talking about creating volunteer coalitions that can bring people of different backgrounds together and create more opportunities for Americans to unite and find out that we have more in common than what divides us besides having to do useless wars.”

Amy Rich and Kelly Whited Jones, the co-chairs of the Utah Equal Rights Coalition, both had similar opinions. 

“I’ve heard a few of his other speeches, and I’ve been following him for a while,” Rich said. “I like that he gives people an overall understanding of his theories and systems and plans, but then he has very specific details. He’s thought it out.” 

“I feel like with him it’s not just a new presidency, but a new era,” Rich said, citing her belief that he is a team player. 

Rich believes that his experience in local government is convincing proof that he will champion cities like Salt Lake. 

“The perfect example of that is how he works as a mayor in his small community. I think that he could make America a bunch of small communities again,” Rich said. 

They are both hopeful that equality will increase if he wins the nomination. 

“I think that he would have a great deal to say about the importance of equality for men and women and having those rights in our constitution is so important,” Whited Jones said.