Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida, announced that he is joining the crowded Democratic presidential field with the release of a biographical video that shows the former Florida State University football player running alongside a sugar cane field.
“The promise of America belongs to all of us,” Messam, 44, the son of Jamaican immigrants, says in the video posted on his Facebook page Wednesday night. “That’s why I’m going to be running for president.”
Messam, whose father was a contract sugar cane cutter, announced an exploratory committee two weeks ago and plans a formal campaign announcement on Sunday.
During an interview on CNN on Thursday morning, Messam said he is the product of an American dream that is “slipping away from a lot of Americans” and touted his stewardship of his South Florida city of about 140,000 people.
Messam said Miramar is gaining jobs and touted the passage of a living-wage law, his fight against oil drilling off the coast and his leadership in response to Hurricane Irma in 2017.
“These are very important issues that have national implications,” Messam said.
CNN anchor John Berman pointed out that Messam’s city is somewhat larger than South Bend, Ind., whose mayor, Pete Buttigieg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.