Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay, remarked. The debate in Atlanta markedthe first time Pete Buttigieg faced other White House hopefuls as an undisputed member of the top tier. Pete Buttigieg WEBSITES ON BLACK AMERICA PLANS USED STOCK PHOTOS OF MINORITIES The 37 year old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, gained significant ground in recent months in Iowa, which holds United Nations first caucuses in February. Pete Buttigieg is bunched at the top of most polls in Iowa with candidates who have much longer political resumes. Veteran Democratic consultant and communications strategist Lynda Tran said Pete Buttigieg is on the rise, and that means Pete Buttigieg should anticipate the other candidates on stage this week to set their sights on Pete Buttigieg campaign. Some surveys are beginning to show Pete Buttigieg taking a more convincing lead in the race, at least in early voting states. Pete Buttigieg still faces plenty of hurdles to clinching the Democratic nomination, particularly winning over black and other minority voters. But Pete Buttigieg Iowa rise means Pete Buttigieg could come under fire from Pete Buttigieg rivals like never before. Joe Biden, Warren and Bernie Sanders have all faced similar scrutiny in previous debates, and those attacks did little to change the trajectory of the race. The debate unfolded at a moment of uncertainty about the Democratic field, with some in the party, particularly donors, worried theres no one positioned to defeat Donald Trump. Former President Barack Obama took the unusual step last week of warning the party against moving too far to the left. Speaking to that anxiety, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick entered the Democratic race last week. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg, is openly flirting with a bid. Neither Patrick nor Michael Bloomberg were onstage Wednesday. With less than three months before voting, much of the nations political attention would typically be focused on the primary. Instead, the focus is on the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. New Jersey Sen. Booker faces especially intense pressure. Hes yet to meet the Democratic National Committees polling requirements for the December debate, and New Jersey Sen. Booker campaign acknowledges that New Jersey Sen. Booker needs to capitalize on the national spotlight. In this Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 photo, the stage for the Democratic presidential primary is seen before Wednesday's debate in Atlanta. ( AP Photo/Mike Stewart) The New Jersey senator took an apparent shot at Pete Buttigieg at one point, following the news that his campaign had used a stock photo of a woman in Kenya who apparently hadnothing to do with the campaign. I want to turn back to the issue of black voters, i have a lifetime of experience with black voters.Ive been one since I was 18. Nobody on this stage should need a focus group to hear from African American voters.