Mayor Pete Buttigieg Helped Transform South Bend, But Some Feel Left Out

April 16, 2019 AT 7:30 AM

By Jennifer Weingart

When Molly Hewitt left South Bend, Ind., for college, she didn't think she'd return to live there again. Since the 1960s, the city had suffered the same brain drain that plagued many other Midwestern cities faced with industrial decline.

"The goal was always to be successful enough that you don't have to come back to South Bend," she said.

But while she was away, things were turning around. Hewitt's parents kept her in the loop and she decided to give another chance to the city led by Democratic mayor Pete Buttigieg.

"I came back, honestly because of Pete and I've seen a lot of my friends do that and a lot of people who didn't grow up here that want to come to South Bend," she said. Now Hewitt is 23, living in South Bend and volunteering for the campaign of James Mueller, the candidate Buttigieg endorsed to replace him in this year's mayoral election.

Buttigieg, 37, officially announced his candidacy for the presidency on Sunday. On the campaign trail he speaks a lot about how being mayor of South Bend since 2012 has prepared him to be president.

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