DeRay Mckesson Is Running For Mayor Of Baltimore

The Black Lives Matter activist jumps into the race.

February 03, 2016

DeRay Mckesson has become the most visible member of the Black Lives Matter movement, taking it from social media timelines to late night TV. Today, the activist filed at the last minute to run for mayor in his native city of Baltimore, reports the Baltimore Sun.


Mckesson is a 30 year old former public school administrator and a current activist with Campaign Zero, a project to end police violence. He says he will release his campaign platform next week, and said in a statement: "Baltimore is a city of promise and possibility. We can't rely on traditional pathways to politics and the traditional politicians who walk those paths if we want transformational change."

Mckesson is running as a Democrat, and the person who wins the party's primary is widely expected to win the Mayor's office, as Baltimore is a deep blue city.

The race is crowded - 28 candidates are officially filed, including former Mayor Sheila Dixon, who is leading the polls. She claimed to the Baltimore Sun that she “hadn't heard” of Mckesson, though this could work to his advantage: As the Iowa caucuses proved, more and more voters are searching outside of the establishment for the elected officials.

Watch Mckesson's appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert below, and read more about Deray's decision to run at The Washington Post.

Update (2/4 10:27 a.m.) Read Mckesson's full announcement on Medium.

"At its core, being the Mayor is about having a vision for the city that is both aspirational and grounded in reality. It is about demonstrating the ability to turn intentions into reality and maintaining the fortitude to see our ambitions met with strong implementation.

I am running to be the 50th Mayor of Baltimore in order to usher our city into an era where the government is accountable to its people and is aggressively innovative in how it identifies and solves its problems. We can build a Baltimore where more and more people want to live and work, and where everyone can thrive."

DeRay Mckesson Is Running For Mayor Of Baltimore