Supporters react to Buttigieg's presidential announcement

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - More than 4500 people packed Studebaker 84 inside with another 1500 outside in the rain for Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential announcement.

“He really inspires us and we're really excited,” Jessica Fujimori said.

Jessica Fujimori flew in all the way from Boston to see Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“We think it's really historic,” Fujimori said. “We've been following him for a couple of months now and just think he's the right person to lead the country right now.”

There were thousands of people just like Jessica in the audience traveling across the country to catch a glimpse of history from Manhattan to Oregon to Denver to right here in South Bend.

“I think the people that he has backing him are people who want the same values as he does,” South Bend resident Mondesi Walters said. “People who want to see change. People who want to see a united country. People who want to change.”

Many of them were feeling the exact same way.

“I think it's very hope filled,” Jay Smith who came from Manhattan said. “I think it's a sign of where we need to go. I think there's something very special about someone's who intelligent and compassionate and knows how to communicate empathy.”

“It's nice to feel hope again,” Cynthia Smith said. “It's nice to feel that there's an up and coming politician who cares about my future.”

“I am super hopeful,” Walters said. “I am so excited to see change, to see this country brought together and united and to see a country that lives up to all the hype it has outside of it you know?”

The crowd was filled with Boot-Edge-Edge signs not letting the weather rain on their parade, with speakers who painted a picture of the candidate throughout his life.

“It sort of reinforces the integrity of this character and branding of Pete,” Fort Wayne resident Keirsh Cochran said. “It's not a character or a brand. We learned that's who Pete really is.”

Since his announcement, the campaign says Buttigieg has raised an additional one million dollars.