WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Pete Buttigieg wasted no time in impressing the crowd gathered Sunday afternoon at Drake’s: The Barn in West Sacramento.

“We would be well served as a country if we could get Washington to look a little more like our best run cities and towns rather than the other way around,” Buttigieg said.

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The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana is 1 of 19 candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

The grassroots picnic was well attended in West Sacramento, with nearly 3-Thousand people signed up as mayor Pete gave them plenty to chew on as he laid out his plan on governing.

“That’s what the presidency is for,” Buttigieg said. “Not the glorification of the president but the unification of the people around a common sense of purpose and a shared sense of belonging.

It was that message Liz Johnson and Elinor Petuskey from Newcastle came to hear.

“He’s not divisive he’s talking about bringing the country together and bringing civility back,” said Johnson, with Petuskey adding, “I like his youth.  I just turned 80 and I’m looking at the younger candidates.”

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Christopher Cabaldon, the mayor of West Sacramento is also a big fan of Buttigieg and the two are very close friends.

Cabaldon first worked with Buttigieg at the U.S. Conference of Mayors and also helped launch his campaign.

“I think there’s a lot of excitement about Pete Buttigieg, his plans for rural America and Medicare for all who want it, and racial justice,” said Cabaldon.

The presidential hopefuls are working hard to sway voters in California. Buttigieg’s visit to the Sacramento region follows a visit in August from Bernie Sanders.

The Golden State could be the golden ticket now that California’s primary has been moved up next year to March.

Buttigieg is polling in fourth place and continues to trail front runners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in democrats running for president, but his hallmark has been his ability to connect with voters of all stripes.

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“He is so genuine and so real and speaks from the heart and he’s intelligent and I think that is so appreciated in these times,” said George Gomes from Grass Valley.