AP NEWS

Top Buttigieg mayoral aide wins primary to lead Indiana city

May 8, 2019
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In this Tuesday, May 7, 2019 photo, outgoing South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, right, and his husband Chasten Buttigieg, center, congratulate James Mueller, left, after Mueller won the democratic primary for South Bend Mayor in South Bend, Ind. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)
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In this Tuesday, May 7, 2019 photo, outgoing South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, right, and his husband Chasten Buttigieg, center, congratulate James Mueller, left, after Mueller won the democratic primary for South Bend Mayor in South Bend, Ind. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) has won the party’s primary to replace him as mayor of his Indiana hometown.

James Mueller won the Democratic nomination for South Bend mayor with 37% of Tuesday’s vote to comfortably lead a nine-candidate field. Mueller is the city’s Department of Community Investment director and Buttigieg endorsed his high school classmate for the nomination.

Buttigieg called Mueller’s victory “good validation” of his administration’s work in the 100,000-person city since he became mayor in 2012.

The 37-year-old Buttigieg has become one of the hottest names among Democratic presidential hopefuls, positioning himself as face of a new generation.

Mueller faces Republican Sean Haas, a high school teacher, in November’s election. South Bend hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since the 1960s.