FILE PHOTO: Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg endorses former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at Chicken Scratch in Dallas, Texas, U.S., March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo
(Reuters) – Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, whose presidential campaign became a top fundraiser in the crowded Democratic primary, is forming a political action committee aimed at creating a new pipeline of leaders for the party, the campaign said on Friday.
The formation of the PAC, called Win the Era, will focus on down-ballot races and represents the former White House hopeful’s first steps in outlining his post-campaign future.
“The work of electing a forward-thinking generation of Democratic candidates never ends. Pete will do his part by building and leading the Win the Era PAC as we get closer to the November election,” campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement on Friday.
Buttigieg, 38, rode a message of fresh-faced optimism to a narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses and second-place finish in New Hampshire before his lack of popularity among minority voters forced him out of the race.
After dropping out, he endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, who now leads the delegate race for the Democratic nomination over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The contest to decide a challenger for President Donald Trump in November has mostly been stalled by the new coronavirus outbreak.
Buttigieg, whose mayoral term in South Bend, Indiana, ended on Jan. 1, is viewed by many as a rising star in the Democratic Party. Still, his future political path is not clear, particularly in Republican-dominated Indiana.
He was among the top fundraisers in the 2020 Democratic presidential contest, raising more than $100 million by cobbling together support from traditional sources, like Wall Street and the tech industry, with grassroots donations.
Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and David Gregorio