Democrat mayor of Florida town, Wayne Messam, announces 2020 presidential bid
The field of Democrats looking to take the party nomination in 2020 just got bigger now that the mayor of Miramar, Fla., has joined it
NFL player-turned Miramar, Fla. mayor Wayne Messam, officially launched his bid for 2020 presidency, Thursday shortly after announcing his plans to run earlier this month.
The recently re-elected Democrat is Miramar’s first Black mayor, and it will be his second term governing over the city with population of 140,000. A first-generation American of Jamaican descent, Messam revealed his plans for candidacy in a video posted via CNN, while also announcing his launch for an exploratory committee.
READ MORE: A Florida mayor of Jamaican descent is considering running for President
“America belongs to all of us. The promise of America belongs to all of us. That’s why I’m going to be running for president. To be your champion,” Messam says in the video.
The former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver went on to boast about his favorability as mayor, and the advantages of being on the “front line,” of American politics.
“When you look at a mayor, Americans see mayors favorably. We are at the front line of what Americans are dealing with every day.
The Florida State University alum enters a very competitive ring, as several U.S. senators and other well known Democratic candidates have also announced their plans to run next year. Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to join the 2020 race, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), already announced his bid at being the 46th POTUS.
He is also not the only candidate to have been elected mayor of a city. Sen. Cory Booker served as mayor of Newark, N.J., from 2006 to 2013. Also, Pete Buttigieg is the current mayor of South Bend, Ind.
READ MORE: Sen. Kamala Harris welcomes Beto O’Rourke to the 2020 presidential race
However, Messam says he still holds faith that “grass-roots support” will give him the advantage as a lesser-known candidate.
“What we know is going to fuel this campaign is grass-roots support, and we feel confident that we will be able to meet the threshold so we will be on the debate in June,” Messam told CNN. “I think that [the] American dream is slipping away for most Americans. Americans are not getting their needs met.”
Messam went on to tell the news outlet that he feels he offers a “unique opportunity for Americans to look at another option of leadership.” In an interview with VICE, the Jamaican-American candidate expressed that he felt his family’s migration history was reflective of him being a part of the “American dream.”
“The reason why I’m running is because I’m living the American dream. My immigrant parents are immigrants from Jamaican and that’s an American dream that is, quite frankly, slipping away from America.”