Buttigieg: I ‘Constantly’ Think of Resigning Mayorship to Focus on Campaign

Buttigieg has taken heat for handling of police shooting in South Bend

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg said in a recent interview that he "constantly" evaluates whether he should resign his position to focus fully on his presidential campaign.

Profiled in New York Times Magazine, Buttigieg addressed his handling of the shooting of Eric Logan, a black man, by a South Bend police officer whose body camera wasn't on. The shooting touched off protests and calls for Buttigieg's resignation from black citizens of Indiana's fourth-largest city; some accused him of caring more about his White House run than fixing racial inequities in his city.

Times writer Mark Leibovich said he asked Buttigieg last month if he ever thought of stepping down.

"I re-evaluate that constantly," Buttigieg said, although he stipulated he hadn't considered it since the Logan shooting because it was important to see the crisis through.

Leibovich pointed out they were in Miami, Florida, at the time for the Democratic debate:

"Yes, but you’re in Miami," I pointed out: South Beach, not South Bend.

"Yes," he acknowledged. "But I'm in charge."

Buttigieg had the best fundraising quarter of any 2020 candidate, hauling in nearly $25 million. While he's among the top tier of candidates in the immense Democratic field, he still has work to do to catch up with frontrunners Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.).

One of Buttigieg's main weaknesses is lack of support from black voters, who are crucial to winning the Democratic nomination. His record on African-American issues in South Bend hasn't helped matters. He admitted at the debate that he hadn't gotten the job done in properly diversifying the city's police department.

He has also taken criticism from the Fraternal Order of Police's local chapter, who accused him of suggesting police were racist.