At 11th Hour, 'Son of Baltimore' Joins Race for Mayor

Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson makes for Democratic field of 13
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2016 7:17 AM CST
In an Aug. 10, 2015, file photo, protester and social media activist DeRay Mckesson records outside the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

(Newser) – A civil rights activist who has gained prominence in the Black Lives Matter movement is now throwing his hat in the ring for the mayorship of Baltimore. DeRay Mckesson, 30, the 13th and last candidate in the Democratic primary, filed right before the deadline in what the Baltimore Sun labels "a surprise move." The Baltimore native—whom Hillary Clinton has called a "social media emperor"—has been a public school administrator in the city, as well as in Minnesota, and has lobbied to end police killings and boost community policing.

In a Medium post Wednesday night, Mckesson painted himself as "a non-traditional candidate," someone who's not a political insider or linked to a "well-connected family." "I am an activist, organizer, former teacher, and district administrator that intimately understands how interwoven our challenges and our solutions are," he wrote. "I am a son of Baltimore." The Democratic primary is slated for April 26, and the Sun points out the winner has historically taken the general election, too. Former mayor Sheila Dixon is currently the front-runner.

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