On Wednesday, minutes before the official deadline to enter Baltimore’s already crowded mayoral race, DeRay Mckesson, a prominent activist and social media juggernaut, filed paperwork to run for the office.
According to the Baltimore Sun, among the candidates vying for the position are 13 Democrats, five Republicans, three Green Party members and a Libertarian. The most notable candidates include former Mayor Sheila Dixon, state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, City Councilmen Carl Stokes and Nick J. Mosby (husband of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby), lawyer Elizabeth Embry and businessman David L. Warnock.
Current Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is not seeking re-election.
Mckesson, 30, a Baltimore native and former public school administrator who has emerged as one of the most recognizable faces linked to the Black Lives Matter movement, will have just 83 days to craft a campaign and convince voters why he deserves to be the city’s mayor before they head to the polls April 26.
According to the Washington Post, Mckesson’s still relatively thin ties to the city make him a long shot, but with the number of candidates running for office, the winner could be chosen by only a small percentage of votes.
In a poll conducted by the Baltimore Sun last year, 58 percent of the city’s primary voters believe the city is “on the wrong track.”
“Baltimore is at a moment,” Mckesson told the Post. “I’m running to usher Baltimore into a new era where our government is accountable to its people and aggressively innovative in how it identifies and solves problems.”