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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's term as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, ends in January — freeing up the rising 2020 candidate’s schedule and opening the doors to new potential fundraising avenues just weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

The big picture: Buttigieg hasn't been tied to his desk, but hometown responsibilities have occasionally taken him off the trail. Most notably, he paused campaigning in June after an officer-involved shooting of a black man sparked protests throughout his town.

  • But with a free calendar, Buttigieg can go all-in in Iowa. Meanwhile, his competitors from the Senate will likely be caught up in impeachment trials, dragging them to Washington and away from early-state voters.

Buttigieg counts many fans on Wall Street. But policies at several financial institutions limit employees from donating to sitting politicians when the transaction could be interpreted as pay-to-play.

  • Towns like South Bend typically don't garner a lot of Wall Street business, meaning it's unlikely that a sweeping number of employees have been blocked from funding the mayor. Nonetheless, Buttigieg's departure from executive power could free up that financial outlet at a vital time for the campaign.
  • Of note: The mayor already has enjoyed success with fundraising, hauling in $19.1 million in Q3.

The bottom line: The transition comes at a great time for Buttigieg. His polling is up, his fundraising is strong and his calendar is about to be a whole lot easier.

What to watch: Buttigieg's hand-picked successor will be sworn in on Jan. 1. The Iowa caucuses are on Feb. 3.

Go deeper: Buttigieg to face frontrunner scrutiny after surprise Iowa poll

Go deeper

26 mins ago - Sports

Raiders player becomes first active in NFL to come out as gay

Photo: Julio Aguilar via Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders player Carl Nassib becomes the first active NFL player in history to come out as gay on Monday.

Driving the news: Nassib said he was coming out now because "representation and visibility are so important" and he will be donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth in the U.S.

Airlines, unions want DOJ to prosecute unruly passengers

Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A coalition of airline industry partners asked the Justice Department on Monday to begin prosecuting disruptive passengers.

Why it matters: Increased political divisions and conflict over pandemic guidelines have led the Federal Aviation Administration to take some form of enforcement action over 400 times in the first five months of 2021, compared to 146 in all of 2019, according to the coalition.