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SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson endorsed fellow Democrat Pete Buttigieg for president Friday, saying he’s better able to attract moderates, independents and liberal Republican voters than others in the still crowded field.
“I believe in Pete’s vision for our country, and trust him to represent all Americans. This country needs a unifying leader capable of undoing the damage done over the last few years and returning us to a domestic agenda focused on the needs of our citizens,” Wilson said.
Buttigieg, who is scheduled to be in Utah Monday for a 7 p.m. town hall meeting in Salt Lake City at an as-yet-unannounced location, is also adding two paid staffers to an operation in the state that his Indiana-based campaign says already has some 2,000 volunteers.
Wilson also cited Buttigieg’s service as a U.S. Navy officer and as a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, for her decision to endorse him over other Democrats still in the race, a list that includes U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
“Mayors approach challenges differently than senators do because we are forced to be more practical than ideological,” Wilson said. “We have to work quickly, responsively, and across party lines to deliver results for our constituents, and can’t afford to get bogged down in philosophical squabbles.”
She also said she believes Buttigieg can defeat President Donald Trump in November.
“Not only will he energize the base of the Democratic Party, but we believe he will be able to attract a larger share of moderates, independents, and liberal Republican voters than any other candidate in the field,” Wilson said. “Pete Buttigieg has my vote and my enthusiastic endorsement.”
Her father, former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson, also backed Buttigieg.
“The Democratic Party is fortunate to have a number of very capable, qualified leaders running for president this year,” Ted Wilson said. “I believe Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the right candidate for the moment and the candidate best qualified to be our next commander in chief.”