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Pete Buttigieg Makes History By Qualifying for Presidential Debates

Pete Buttigieg qualifies for first DNC debates

This will be first time an out candidate appears in a Democratic primary debate. 

Openly gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's campaign hit a major threshold this weekend. The Indiana mayor says he has reached a threshold required to be invited to nationally televised debates.

"Thanks to you, we hit the @TheDemocrats 65,000 donor goal in order to be invited to the first debate. But we are going to need to raise a lot more money to compete," he tweeted Saturday.

"I know I can hold my own on the debate stage and represent your values with honor and integrity, but I need to know we can build a strong organization, too."

The Democratic National Committee announced in December that it will host its first debates in June. Because of the large field, the first debates will be held on back-to-back weeknights.

With dozens of significant candidates expected to run, the DNC established a fundraising threshold for candidates to qualify. Candidates must have 65,000 individual donors from at least 20 states and their debate night will be selected by a random drawing.

With Buttigieg now qualifying, the debates will mark the first time that a DNC sanctioned forum featured an openly gay candidate for president of the United States.

The news came the same weekend Buttigieg sat down for an extensive interview on Fox News Sunday where he talked about climate change and his problems with President Donald Trump's administration.

"The president's promise is to turn back the clock, that we can somehow just go back to the 1950s," he told host Chris Wallace. "It's just not true. The economy is changing, the pace of change is accelerating, and what we've got to do is master those changes in order to make them work for us."

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