No more Mr. nice guy.
There has been a last minute change in the tone and tenor of the race for the Democratic mayoral nomination in South Bend.
“What is 29 year old Pete Buttigieg running from?” one T.V. ad asks. It goes on to suggest that Buttigieg is the hand picked candidate of the same old power brokers who have run South Bend for the past 30-years.
“Everything from former mayors to big contractors to law firms, the same political power brokers who are the ones that have run the show in the city you know, they’ve all set up that campaign and I think people really want to see a change in the city and that aspect of it really has not been covered that much,” Ryan Dvorak told News Center 16 over the telephone.
Dvorak insists that the ads aren’t ‘negative,’ saying that there are no personal attacks and that the ads are factual.
“I don't even know what he means you know,” said Pete Buttigieg while campaigning door to door today. “We've got a lot of supporters, we've got a big tent and the important thing is we have a big tent because we've laid out a forward looking agenda for the South Bend economy.”
Buttigieg said that he would not try to answer the allegations with attack ads of his own. “I think the fact that he’d rather talk about me than talk about his own plan shows that maybe our plan's a little more convincing.”
Still other ads question whether Buttigieg has enough experience for the job.
“It’s not only a big job but it’s one that takes knowledge, takes the know how to actually do the job right, we can’t sort of roll the dice on this,” said Dvorak. “If we can't make these changes correctly now it could be a long time to recover from.”
Buttigieg says that voters are smart and can decide for themselves. “And I think being an incumbent politician is not necessarily what people are looking for right now in their next mayor.”
Meantime, candidate Barrett Berry is about to put his first TV ad on the air. He insists that it will not be negative, because that’s about the only place his campaign refuses to ‘go.’ “I go where people gather, it doesn't matter where they are, I’m there. Regardless of where they are, doesn't matter if it’s at a homeless shelter, I’ve been to the homeless shelter,
a few times, if it’s over the church, I’ve been to several different churches, if it’s at a night club I’ll go to the night club.”
While Dvorak doesn’t see his ads as negative, it’s obvious that Buttigieg does. In a letter to supporters, Pete Buttigieg wrote that it was “disappointing” to see Dvorak take this “desperate turn.”
The campaign of candidate Mike Hamann has been suspended. While the Hamann campaign continues to send direct mail ads and run commercials on TV, those were placed before the death of Hamann’s wife Mary.