2020 Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg holds town hall in North Augusta

Saturday, June 22, 2019
News 12 at 11 O'Clock

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's the beginning of a long road ahead in a crowded field of candidates for the 2020 Presidential Election.

"We're here because we know we're at a moment in American history that comes along once in a while, I'd say once in a lifetime, where the choices we make in the next three or four years decide what's going to happen in the next 30 or 40," Mayor Pete Buttigieg said.

"We were first in line this afternoon," Tom Mack, an attendee said. "We've been waiting already two hours to get to see Mayor Pete."

Tom Mack and Michael Budd say they're excited to see what the primaries bring to South Carolina.

"It's great to see so many candidates that are stepping up and running and pursuing this high office of ours," attendee Michael Budd said. "I'm really excited and I hope that by the time we get to the end, we'll unite as one."

South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg talked foreign policy, education and climate change.

"I think it's safe to say I'm not like the others and I think that will become clear in the debate stage and in other steps of the campaign process as we go," Mayor Buttigieg said.

"It is definitely too expensive to go to college in this country. It's also too expensive to not go to college in this country."

But as a US Navy Reserve Veteran, Buttigieg says he recognizes the importance of veteran's affairs and foreign policy

"I think there's a benefit to having someone who actually served walk into the role," Mayor Buttigieg said. "America has to do a better job of keeping that promise whether it's in the VA system where we're still seeing a lot of challenges for accessing care or whether it's in how we treat those who are in uniform right now."

If elected, Pete Buttigieg would be the youngest and first openly LGBT president.

"I think there's a great deal of response to the idea of a different kind of candidate and a new generation of leadership."