BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A well-known Black Lives Matter activist is running for mayor of Baltimore. DeRay Mckesson filed for mayor just ten minutes before the deadline closed Wednesday night.
Political reporter Pat Warren has more on who he is and what he brings to the campaign.
Mckesson, who made a national name for himself as a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement, has recently been living in North Baltimore.
On CNN, Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson took a stand on the vandalism that occurred during the Baltimore riots.
“I don’t have to condone it to understand it. People are grieving and people are mourning, and I would advocate personally for people to do it in ways that you are calling peacefully. But, again, I also know that Freddie Gray will never be back and that those windows will be,” Mckesson said.
Now Mckesson, who recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, is running for mayor of Baltimore.
He posted: “I have come to realize that the traditional pathway to politics and the traditional politicians who follow these well-worn paths will not lead us to the transformational change our city needs.”
He’s had similar discussions with Democratic presidential hopefuls.
“We heard Hillary acknowledge white privilege, which she’s never done before. We heard Bernie continue to talk about systemic injustice. And O’Malley, you know, still got some work to do,” Mckesson said.
But can Mckesson win the seat once held by Martin O’Malley?
“It’s still hard to work against the establishment, in a sense, but he’s certainly going to bring more attention to the race, which is very exciting, and at least make sure that the issues he cares about are going to be discussed by all the candidates,” said Loyola University public opinion expert Dr. Amy Bree Becker.
Mckesson is a former public school administrator.
He’s worked in the Baltimore public school system and in Minnesota prior to becoming a full-time activist.
There are now 13 Democrats and five Republican candidates for mayor.