By Sammie Purcell
BU News Service
Nashua, N.H. — Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg took second place Tuesday in the New Hampshire primary, continuing his forward momentum after a narrow first-place win at the Iowa Caucus.
Buttigieg began his speech at his primary night rally Tuesday by congratulating Sen. Bernie Sanders, who narrowly came in first place and the other Democratic candidates on a strong showing. He then thanked his supporters in New Hampshire.
“Thanks to you, a campaign that some said shouldn’t be here at all has shown that we are here to stay,” he said to the crowd of 1,200 supporters gathered at Nashua Community College.
Buttigieg thanked the range of voters who turned out, from Democrats to Independents to Republicans. He emphasized a message of unity and “politics defined by how many we call in instead of those we push out.”
The message of unity resonated with his supporters. Caroline and Kat Raiano of Milford have been phone banking for Buttigieg since October. They’re 15 and 17 respectively – not even old enough to vote, but they both attended the rally Tuesday night because they believe he can bring the country back together.
Buttigieg spent most of his speech invoking unity and proposing a “coalition of addition, not subtraction.” He also reiterated the idea he’s put forth many times this campaign season, that he does not believe you must be either for revolution or the status quo.
“Where does that leave the rest of us?” he asked. “We can’t defeat the most divisive president in American history by tearing down anybody who doesn’t agree with us 100% of the time.”
Buttigieg spoke briefly about many of his proposals, including lowering the costs of prescription drug prices, “Medicare for all who want it” and the fight against climate change. There were a few emotionally-charged moments when he spoke about the Supreme Court decision related to his marriage and his husband Chasten; and when he spoke to Hispanic voters in an effort to convey support.
“This country is your country, too,” he said in Spanish.
Buttigieg ended the night by looking towards the future and preparing to head to Nevada.
“I ask you to join us in taking a stand for a better tomorrow,” he said. “When we do, one day books will tell not just of one election, but of the era that began with you here in New Hampshire.”
Rachel Rock contributed to this report.
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