Buttigieg's former chief of staff to be sworn in as mayoral successor

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE will soon be replaced by his former chief of staff as mayor of the midwestern town.

Mayor-elect James Mueller will be sworn in Wednesday afternoon, signifying the end of the presidential candidate’s tenure as mayor and freeing him up to campaign. 

Now, Buttigieg will hold an advantage over other Democratic candidates serving in the Senate who will be called back to Washington during President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s impeachment hearing. 

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Buttigieg endorsed Mueller last February, and the former chief of staff won the primary in May. The presidential candidate had announced he wouldn’t run for re-election in 2018.

The mayor-elect told ABC57, a local affiliate, his priority will be “getting the right people in the right places.” 

“After that, we’re looking to do what we talked about on the campaign trail,” Mueller told the affiliate. “Really it’s all about taking our growth that we’ve started to achieve over the last eight years and take it to the next level and make sure it’s spread widely so everyone can take part in it.”

He said he’s received advice from Buttigieg but noted he is a different person.

Mueller also inherited Buttigieg’s controversy surrounding the South Bend Police Department. In June, the presidential candidate had to leave the campaign trail after an officer-involved shooting of a black man and protests arose. 

The mayor-elect mentioned another allegedly racist incident involving an officer who said a quote from a movie during an encounter,  saying that the city has to have “a lot of honest dialogue,” he told ABC57. 

Buttigieg launched a 21st Century Policing study that is doing an audit on the department and will make recommendations in 2020, according to the affiliate.

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