Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, speaks during a candidates forum at the 110th NAACP National Convention, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Jet-setter: Buttigieg leads 2020 Dems in private flights

July 25, 2019 - 2:10 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — An analysis of campaign finance data shows Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj) has spent roughly $300,000 on private jet travel this year, more than any other Democrat running for the White House.

The expenditures have enabled the South Bend, Indiana, mayor to keep up an aggressive schedule, shuttling from his campaign headquarters in his hometown to fundraisers and political events across the country.

But his reliance on charter flights contrasts sharply with his image as a Rust Belt mayor who embodies frugality and Midwestern modesty.

That could prove to be a liability in a contest in which relatability to everyday people has historically been key.

Buttigieg's campaign says the distance between its South Bend headquarters and major airports sometimes makes private jet travel necessary.