Pete Buttigieg returns to Atlanta for big gay fundraiser

HGTV star Vern Yip and his husband will host gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for a high-dollar fundraiser at their Brookwood Hills home. 

Buttigieg’s (photo) fundraiser on Friday comes as several presidential candidates swarm Atlanta for the Young Leaders Conference, a forum with African-American church leaders and thousands of black millennials, according to the AJC. 

Catering company owner Dennis Dean and his husband Drew Brown are co-chairs of the fundraiser. Kirk Rich, co-chair of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ LGBTQ Advisory Board, is one of the event’s hosts.

Rich said Buttigieg – the mayor of South Bend, Ind. – being gay “is probably the last part of his brilliant qualities.”

“He’s this person running for office who is so bright, has served the country in combat, has a family, has a faith base in his life and can speak so eloquently about it without it always being on the gay platform, but on the platform of being highly intelligent and strategically very smart,” Rich told Project Q Atlanta. 

“I think he’s an incredible example to younger people in society that it doesn’t matter who you love or how you love — what matters is who you serve and how you serve and how well you serve,” he added.

Lauren Howard, Peggy Roth, Clark Seydel, Galen Kovash and Greg Blazer are also on the fundraiser’s host committee. The $500-level tickets have sold out, while co-host tickets ($1,000) and host tickets ($2,800) are still available.

Buttigieg, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and former Housing & Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro will speak at the Young Leaders Conference on Friday afternoon, according to the AJC. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will be interviewed onstage at the forum on Saturday. 

This will be Buttigieg’s third campaign visit to Georgia. He and his husband Chasten went to former President Jimmy Carter’s church and Sunday school service in Plains in May. 

Buttigieg came to Atlanta in June to speak at the African-American Leadership Council Summit, where he said that Georgia was “on the cusp of becoming a blue state.” He also attended three fundraisers, including one with several LGBTQ Atlanta hosts that garnered over $100,000.