Democratic Florida mayor launching 2020 presidential exploratory committee

Democratic Florida mayor launching 2020 presidential exploratory committee
© City of Miramar, Florida

The Democratic mayor of Miramar, Fla., announced Wednesday that he will launch an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid.

Wayne Messam said in a statement that "Washington is not working for the American people" and that "big issues" — such as gun violence, climate change and health care costs —"need fresh eyes and bold ideas from someone closer to the people."

"Together, we can fundamentally change our country for the better and tackle these challenges with actions that match the scale and urgency of this moment," he added. 

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Messam also told CNN on Wednesday that his candidacy offers "a unique opportunity for Americans to look at another option of leadership."

"When you look at what is going on in Washington, the status quo is who is stepping up to be our next president," Messam said. "When you look at a mayor, Americans see mayors favorably. We are at the front line of what Americans are dealing with every day."
 
If Messam were to jump into the race, he would enter an already crowded primary field.
 
 
Messam would become the second mayor in the Democratic primary race. Pete Buttigieg, the current mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced his candidacy in January.
  
Messam, who is the son of Jamaican immigrants, was previously a city commissioner before becoming mayor of Miramar, a Broward County city north of Miami. His announcement Wednesday comes one day after he easily won reelection to a second term as mayor.
 
He told CNN that he hopes voters will listen to his story and learn that he "comes from humble beginnings and is living my American dream."
 
"And I think that American dream is slipping away for most Americans," he added. "Americans are not getting their needs met."
 
Messam also told CNN that he's confident his campaign would meet the Democratic National Committee requirements to be included in the first two primary debates.
 
"What we know is going to fuel this campaign is grass-roots support," he said. "And we feel confident that we will be able to meet the threshold so we will be on the debate in June."