When the young mayor of an Indiana town announced he would be running for president, he quickly had the country's attention — and his husband's, too. Chasten Buttigieg was just as taken aback as the rest of us when he learned his husband Pete was considering a bid, but he was unconditionally supportive and ready for a challenge. Who is Mayor Pete's husband, Chasten Buttigieg? If you've been following the presidential campaign you probably have a good idea, but if you don't, you might want to start now.
Since Mayor Pete first officially launched his presidential campaign in April 2019, his husband has been right by his side. Buttigieg was folding laundry when he first heard the idea, per The Washington Post: "I was like, 'No, no, no — are you serious? Okay, what are we thinking here? I love you. I believe in you.'" The announcement came less than a year after the two married in June 2018, when Chasten Glezman took on the South Bend mayor’s infamously difficult-to-pronounce last name and stepped on the road — whether he knew it then or not — to become the nation’s potential first first man.
Buttigieg is a public school teacher by day and a social media superstar by night. He boasts 381,000 Twitter followers —about half as many as Democratic presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Sen. Amy Klobuchar and just enough to match Julián Castro. And he’s not even the one running.
Buttigieg's online popularity is attributable largely to just how adorable and supportive he is of the presidential campaign. He regularly tweets encouraging messages during his husband's busy schedule, not to mention he lives a pretty active political life of his own. And, of course, this works with young voters. (As a teacher, he says he's already "pretty cool with the youths.")
At 37, Mayor Pete is running to be the United States’ youngest president, but Buttigieg is only 29. He’s more millennial than his husband is, and he checks all the boxes to prove it. He met his husband on a dating app in 2015, promotes screen-free mindfulness, and runs a Twitter account dedicated to memes of the couple’s two dogs.
Buttigieg weaves skillfully between quoting Lizzo lyrics one moment to getting serious and vulnerable the next. Just like Mayor Pete, who has shared personal stories on the campaign trail about coming out in 2015 in a conservative community or serving in the military during "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Buttigieg hasn’t shied away from difficult topics. In May 2019, The Washington Post reported his childhood experiences in the closet, feeling different from his brothers who played sports or went hunting while “reading Harry Potter or singing Celine Dion at the top of my lungs while my mom and I were dusting the cabinets.” Though he has a better relationship with his family now, Buttigieg recalls leaving home after coming out at 18 and bouncing around homes.
Buttigieg then headed to the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire to study theater and global studies, per The Washington Post, and became a teacher after graduation while working a second job at Starbucks. Soon after, he met Pete Buttigieg on Hinge and now works as a junior high school teacher in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Mayor Pete has been regularly evoked on the debate stage and on social media to make some important points about education. For one, Pete has made education an important priority. Financial records have shown that the Buttigieg couple has over $130,000 in student debt combined, and in the September 2019 Democratic debate, Pete rallied for better public education, especially paying teachers more.
The journey hasn't just been sunshine and rainbows for Pete and Chasten Buttigieg. But as the Democratic primary heats up, these two show no signs of slowing down. No matter what happens to Mayor Pete's campaign in the coming months, it's clear he will always have at least one loyal supporter by his side — three, if you count the dogs.