DeRay Mckesson will not be Baltimore's next mayor

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Last night, Baltimore ended the mayoral campaign of civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, after a brief and widely publicized run.

Mckesson launched his bid in February, just before the filing deadline. He raised money faster than any of the candidates already in the race. And the idea of an activist who has become a national symbol of protests in Ferguson and then in Baltimore running for elected office was compelling. But his loss is not unexpected.

In last night's mayoral primary, he came in sixth, with Maryland state senator Catherine Pugh coming out on top:


In an email to supporters after the results came in last night, Mckesson said he felt his campaign had "challenged the status quo of Baltimore's politics," the Baltimore Sun reported. "While we did not win tonight, what we did was very important, and I want you to be as proud of our work together as I am. We did something very special, and it sets the table for what else is possible," the email said. His platform revolved around police reform, education, and housing access:


Pugh, last night's winner, also ran on a platform of police reform: in the state senate, she's been one of the main proponents of a police accountability bill. As the New York Times pointed out in a recent profile of Mckesson, it's hard to imagine that issue not being essential to this election in Baltimore in the aftermath of Freddie Gray's death in police custody and in the era of Black Lives Matter.

In a city where Democrats vastly outnumber Republican voters, it's likely Pugh will be Baltimore's next mayor.