Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg ended his tenure as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, on Wednesday, Jan. 1 as his successor, James Mueller, was sworn in as the new mayor.

“Final quiet moments. End of an era. Onward,” Buttigieg’s chief of staff Laura O’Sullivan tweeted.

Buttigied, the youngest mayor ever of a city with a population of just over 100,000 residents, announced in December 2018 that he would not seek a third term. He now will have more time to campaign in the crowed presidential race. In June last year, he had to take time off the campaign trail after an officer-involved shooting of a black man and protests arose.

Buttigieg, who has taken long strides ahead of the Iowa caucuses slated to be held on Feb. 3, has surged ahead in polling averages of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, according to the CNBC. His campaign announced on Wednesday that it raised $24.7 million in the final quarter and more than $76 million for the year. 

The former mayor of South Bend, who is openly gay and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, is still struggling with African American voters. Last month, a Black Lives Matter activist interrupted his rally and the group said the protest “represents only a fraction of the long-standing pain many Black, Brown, and poor citizens endure” in South Bend.

Buttigieg presented in December the immigration agenda he would set in motion if elected president of the United States. Accordingly, he would eliminate programs for staying in Mexico, bans on transit in third countries, and other current and previous measures.

His pledging to legalize drug possession including meth, coke, and ecstasy has drawn sharp criticism.

“He is guaranteeing more drug addicts, he’s guaranteeing more crime, and he’s guaranteeing less help because we don’t have enough services for those who are addicted to crimes now and he’s going to create more addiction,” Sheriff Grady Judd from Polk County, Florida said, Fox News reported.  

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