Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg scored his first congressional endorsement on Wednesday.
In an interview with the Washington Post, three-term Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) announced his support for the South Bend Mayor, saying he began a “huge skeptic” of the 37-year-old, but was eventually swayed through media appearances and rallies.
“Everybody I talk to — even my Republican brother-in-law I had breakfast with — is excited about him,” Beyer gushed the Post.
“The thing that really most impressed me was listening to him,” he added. “I think he’s the most articulate of all the candidates we have. He speaks plainly but very thoughtfully. Politics is about communicating and being able to tell a story well. And I think he does it better than anyone I’ve seen since Barack Obama.”
Beyer was an early supporter of Obama in 2007 and canvased for him in the key primary state of Iowa. He plans on knocking on doors for Buttigieg.
Beyer was Virginia’s lieutenant governor between 1990–1998 and served as U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein from 2009 to 2013.
“I endorsed Barack Obama early, having been moved by both his intelligence and his political capability,” Beyer continued. “I am similarly inspired by Mayor Pete. With him, I feel the promise of a new generation, and I see a way out of the darkness.
The Virginia Democrat concluded:
In making this choice, I think of the qualities missing from the current occupant of the Oval Office. They are qualities that Pete Buttigieg exudes: decency, a grounding in history, optimism, a sophisticated grasp of the world and of the dangers of bigotry, and a generosity of spirit. The Democratic field is full of people with these traits, but Pete possesses them to an uncommon degree, and, just as importantly, has a gift for communicating them.