Second US politician of Jamaican descent explores Presidential run

Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, who is exploring a campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination

(Jamaica Observer) A second United States politician of Jamaican descent is exploring a run for the White House, buoyed by his convincing re-election last week as mayor of the city of Miramar, Florida.

Wayne Messam has established an exploratory committee to determine whether or not he should seek the office of president of the US. The launch of the committee will also give him legal cover to raise and spend money on a potential campaign.

Messam is the son of Jamaican immigrants, whose father Hubert Messam worked as a cane cutter in Florida before moving his family to the United States. The mayor who is a Democrat, spent his early years growing up in the Florida Glades.

California senator Kamala Harris, whose father is also from Jamaica, launched her campaign for the presidency at a huge rally on January 21, 2019. She is running on a Democratic ticket.

Should he decide to run, Messam will become the second mayor in the race. Pete Buttigieg, who is mayor of the small town of South Bend, population of 102,000 in the state of Indiana, announced his candidacy several weeks ago.

Messam, who presides over a population of 150,000, is a graduate of Florida State University where he was a member of the college football team that emerged champion in a national competition.

Speaking at the launch of the exploratory committee, Messam said that the big issues facing the country needed fresh eyes and bold ideas from someone closer to the people, “so that our voices can be heard”.

He also contended that Washington was not working for the American people.

A frequent visitor to Jamaica, Messam, in a 2016 article published in the Jamaica Observer listed “Little Ochi”, Alligator Pond, as one of his favourite spots on the island. He also expressed his love for seafood and fresh food.

Messam owns a construction business and is married with three children. He polled 5,847 votes to thrash Jesue Larose, who polled 948 votes in the mayoral contest last week. Messam was first elected mayor in 2015.

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