DeRay Mckesson, who rose to fame as an activist during the Ferguson protests and became one of the more visible figures in the national #BlackLivesMatter movement, announced his bid for mayor of Baltimore late Wednesday night. According to Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater, Mckesson filed his entry papers right before the filing deadline.
The New York Times has more details on Mckesson's plans to run, which include registering as a Democrat. As they point out, he's joining a crowded field already:
Among them are prominent black leaders who include Nick J. Mosby, a city councilman and the husband of the prosecutor who is trying six police officers in the death of a young black Baltimore man last year; and Sheila Dixon, the former mayor who remains popular even though she left office after a conviction on fraud charges. David L. Warnock, a prominent businessman, also is vying for the nomination.
Mckesson, a former school administrator who quit his job to become a full-time activist, had previously hinted at a possible political run. At the end of an interview with New York's Rembert Browne in Novemeber, McKesson entertained the thought of running for mayor.
Many people have asked me if I’d consider running for mayor of Baltimore. And I think it’s — I don’t know at what point I’d think being an elected official would be the best way to be in the work, because right now we are trying to apply this pressure from the outside. And force systems to change and respond, forcing these conversations.
He also tweeted last fall about the timing of the Baltimore mayoral elections.
The Democratic primary is April 26th; as the Times points out, whoever emerges from the Democratic party is almost sure to win the mayorship, as the party has held the office for almost 50 years.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.