Black Lives Matter Protestor Runs for Mayor of Baltimore

Late entry into crowded field by high profile activist could shake-up race residents say, but lack of experience an issue

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MEGAN SHERMAN, TRNN: In an already crowded race for mayor, a last-minute filing by Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson promises to shake up a field that includes former mayor Sheila Dixon, state senator Catherine Pugh, and councilman Carl Stokes, among others.

A Baltimore native, Mckesson rose to fame as one of the most outspoken activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. With 200,000-plus Twitter followers, and a crowdfunding campaign that has already raised $32,000, Mckesson could play an outsider’s role in a race that is currently populated by a variety of insiders. But also enters the election without any experience within Baltimore government, nor details about what he would do if elected. Which is why we spoke to residents to get their impression of the potential Mckesson has to shake up the race that at last count had 29 candidates.

CHRIS BRIGGS: It just seems like all the politicians here have been corrupt. So on the bright side, he would just–that dude [know] DeRay told me that he’s, you know, very genuine. So his intentions probably are well, but I just, I don’t know. I don’t, I’m really skeptical. I think maybe he’s just an internet person, just trying to get some fame.

LEON KING: I mean, you just gotta get out there and make your face known. And I mean, have an interaction and a relationship with the community. You know, don’t just be on a piece of paper from the news, or be on the news, or be on the internet. Like, they need to see your face. Like, there should be more interaction with the community.

KEVIN HAYDEN: I think people sometimes vote on emotion. And, and this being a majority black city, I think sometimes we vote based on skin color. And although a person may not be qualified but the other person may not look like me, I’m looking for the person, the most qualified. Whether they’re 38, or 54. The most qualified. That person who has demonstrated that first they have the ability to run a large city, and then the commitment.

SHERMAN: This is Megan Sherman and Stephen Janis reporting with the Real News Network.

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DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.