by David Sharos – Nov 11, 2019 (ChicagoTribune.com)
State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, announced her endorsement of Democrat Pete Buttigieg for president on Monday.
Buttigieg is currently in his eighth year as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Kifowit said she was in Iowa last week helping out with Buttigieg’s campaign, and that it was time to make her endorsement of a presidential candidate.
She said her support for Buttigieg revolves around “his military background, relative youth and energy and common sense ideas.”
“I think it’s really important we have a commander-in-chief that was in the military and understands the importance of veterans who I really feel have been devalued,” she said. “Someone with that experience is important when you’re talking about our national security. Pete (Buttigieg) was a naval intelligence officer and was deployed. I also really like his energy and determination.”
Kifowit said that Buttigieg’s age, 37, makes him somewhat young for a presidential candidate, but noted that John F. Kennedy was 43 when he was elected.
“He’s (Buttigieg) much younger than the current front runners, and I feel he’s someone who brings so much innovation, progress, honor and common sense solutions,” she said. “I don’t know as the career Washington folks have that and he’s highly qualified as a Rhodes Scholar and a graduate from Harvard. He has the knowledge base needed for a career in Washington.”
Following her visit to Iowa last week, Kifowit said she felt a public endorsement was important.
“From what I’ve seen, the strides in veteran care have not been as stellar as they might and I think he will address that as commander-in-chief,” Kifowit said.
Buttigieg has said that female veterans and service members have been neglected, including on concerns about sexual harassment and women’s health.
“I think leadership plays a huge role so absolutely I’d seek to name a woman to lead the VA,” Buttigieg said in an interview with The Associated Press. His comments went a step beyond his 21-page wide-ranging plan released on Monday.
Of the Cabinet and Cabinet-level roles, four have never been held by a woman: Veterans Affairs, Defense, Treasury and White House chief of staff. Buttigieg says he’d take a close look at appointing a female defense secretary as well.
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