Pete Buttigieg, an American politician of Maltese descent, has been gaining praise and building support in his bid for the chair of the Democratic Party in the United States, a position of huge importance in the US political system.

"While the national media has been focused on the two most famous names competing to head up the Democratic National Committee, Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has quietly built up a sizable base of support of his own away from the spotlight," one US website reported.

Buttigieg last night joined the seven other candidates in the first debate hosted by CNN.

He cautioned the Democratic Party against focusing too much energy on Trump as it works to select a new chairman and plot a strategy for the future.

Buttigieg called Trump a "computer virus in the American political system," CNN reported.

"Yes, we've got to take the fight to him. But we can't let him dominate our imagination, because it's our values and our candidates that matter," he said.

READ Mayor of Maltese descent running for US Democratic Party Chair

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