Wayne Messam ends long-shot bid for presidency
Wayne Messam, a mayor from Florida who launched a long-shot bid for the White House, ended his bid for the presidency.
"Although the campaign goal of becoming President was not realized at this moment, I could not be more thankful for the many supporters including my family, friends and so many Americans I have had the awesome opportunity to meet on the campaign trail all over this nation," Messam wrote in a blog Wednesday.
Messam is the mayor of Miramar, Florida, which has a population of about 140,000 people. He was elected the city’s first black mayor in 2015, beating the incumbent by just 313 votes. He was reelected in a landslide in 2019, with 86% of the vote.
Messam, 45, announced his bid for the Democratic nomination in March in a video highlighting his roots as the son of Jamaican immigrants, as well as the need to reform climate policy, health care and student debt.
“The problem in America as I see it is that we are not addressing these high-stakes problems that we must deal with today,” he said in the video.
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Messam’s presidential policy platforms mirrored issues he addressed as mayor, such as preventing gun violence.
After the Parkland school shooting in 2018, a group that included Messam and other Florida mayors sought to tighten gun restrictions. Last year, they sued the state of Florida over a law restricting Messam’s ability as mayor to install municipal gun regulations after wanting a new amphitheater in Miramar to be a “gun-free venue.” If the group is successful, Miramar could declare public buildings – such as the amphitheater – to be gun-free zones.
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Messam told CityLab in March that he wanted to enact legislation as president to prevent the NRA from having “free reign on our legislative process so that these weapons can continue to pour into our streets, into the hands of individuals that are shooting up schools and that are plaguing our neighborhood streets.”
“Those acts of violence are not covered every day in the news like a Parkland, like a Columbine, like an Aurora,” he said. “But every day in the streets of America, these guns and these individuals who should not have these guns are wreaking havoc on American society. And it has to stop.”
Messam’s campaign never gained traction. He never qualified for any of the debates, and he reported raising only $5 in the third quarter of this year. A Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa Poll conducted in June reported that 0% of respondents listed Messam as either their first or second choice for president, which was true for eight other candidates.