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Black Lives Matter Activist DeRay McKesson Running for Mayor of Baltimore

Prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson announced he is running for mayor of the city of Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore native son McKesson plans to fight the political establishment and shake up the system by running as a Democrat, taking on about a dozen other candidates in the city’s April 26 primary.

Mckesson gained nationwide attention and a large Twitter following During Black Lives Matter protesst and rioting in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland last year. Mckesson quit his job to become a full-time activist and has subsequently met with top Democrat officials on a national level, including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Valerie Jarrett.

Mckesson announced his candidacy in an essay on the website Medium and criticized politicians for making “lofty promises and vague plans” but gave no specifics of what a Mckesson administration would look like. Mckesson says he plans to release a policy proposal in the next few weeks. Mckesson wrote:

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. Many have accepted that our current political reality is fixed and irreversible — that we must resign ourselves to accept the way that City Hall functions, or the role of money and connections in dictating who runs and wins elections. They have bought into the notion that there is only one road that leads to serve as an elected leader. 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. Many have accepted that our current political reality is fixed and irreversible — that we must resign ourselves to accept the way that City Hall functions, or the role of money and connections in dictating who runs and wins elections. They have bought into the notion that there is only one road that leads to serve as an elected leader.

Baltimore’s Democrat machine has had an iron grip on the city since 1967, and beginning with Clarence “Du” Burns in 1987, four of Baltimore’s last five mayors have been black. The city’s only white mayor in the past 29 years was Martin O’Malley, who recently gave up his bid for the Democrat presidential nomination after garnering only .5 percent of the vote at the Iowa caucuses.

In the wake of the Baltimore rioting and increased police scrutiny, the murder rate in Baltimore spiked last year, due to what many believe is “the Ferguson Effect” caused by a both a media and activist war on cops in many American cities.

Mckesson said in his announcement he looks forward to “earning your vote and working with you to change the trajectory of Baltimore.”

The New York Times, dutifully noting that Mckesson is one of only 10 people that singer Beyoncé Knowles follows on Twitter, said that “his candidacy is sure to jolt the political and protest communities at a time when activists have eschewed traditional politics and sought to work outside the system.”

At press time early Thursday morning, McKesson had already raised over $25,000 in pledges for his campaign.

Lee Stranahan is the lead  investigative journalist at Breitbart News  and founder of Citizen Journalism School, where you can take a free course on building your own media empire.

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