UPDATE 1:12p.m. | South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttetieg at the DNC winter meeting on Saturday announced he has dropped out of the race for DNC chair.
DNC candidate speeches are currently underway ahead of a vote to decide who will assume the role as the next chair.
A millennial mayor from the Rust Belt could be the Democratic Party's answer to winning white working class voters living in the Rust Belt.
Pete Buttetieg, 35, is running to become the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, the organizing body of the Democratic Party.
"Step one is to show up," Buttigieg told Mic in an interview.
Even in the counties we're never going to win, we've got to show up.
Winning over new voters
Buttetieg, an Oxford and Harvard alumnus and Afghanistan war veteran, believes he has what it takes to bring the Democratic party together and get new voters to join their side. In an interview with Mic published Monday, he said the key to winning over rural voters is showing up.
"There was a sense that Donald Trump was talking to rural America [during the 2016 presidential election]. Even though it was all bullshit, you get credit for showing up and talking."
Authenticity is important. The younger you are, the more you have a sophisticated detector for when you're being pandered to.
The future of the Democratic Party
Although Buttetieg might be an underdog among his opponents for DNC chair -- he entered the race late and is far less known compared to the other candidates -- as the youngest declared candidate, he is the future of the Democratic Party.
There are 447 DNC members who will to cast their vote in Atlanta later this month to determine the committee's next chairperson.
WATCH | Buttetieg details his platform for DNC chair on his campaign Facebook page.
He knows what millennials care about
"Authenticity is important," Buttigieg told Mic. "The younger you are, the more you have a sophisticated detector for when you’re being pandered to. We also need to not just talk to millennials about ‘young people’ stuff. Millennials care about student debt, but they also care about [issues like] health care and the war in Afghanistan."
"We can’t treat the presidency like it’s the only race that matters"
Buttigieg says there needs to be a shift in his party in order to succeed and sustain longevity.
"The other side has been very clever about building majorities in state houses, school boards, and they’ve been at it for decades. It’s time for Democrats to think about a 50-year strategy how we’re going to build a coalition that will be more important than any individual election cycle."
In 2011, Buttigieg became the youngest mayor of a U.S. city with over 100,000 residents when he was elected in his hometown of South Bend.
The Washington Post once called him “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of.”