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DeRay McKesson

Source: The Washington Post / Contributor / Getty

Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson won a mere 2 percent of Tuesday’s votes in Baltimore’s Mayoral Democratic Primary, taking in only 3,008 votes. However, according the Baltimore Sun, he actually “outperformed,” winning more than the expected 1 percent of the vote a prior poll estimated weeks ago.

Yet, Mckesson believed that despite the loss, his campaign accomplished a lot and “challenged” the status quo of politics in Baltimore.

“While we did not win tonight, what we did was very important, and I want you to be as proud of our work together as I am. We did something very special, and it sets the table for what else is possible,” he wrote in an email to his constituents. 

Despite Mckesson’s staunch social media presence, celebrity backers (President Barack Obama and Beyoncé to name a few) and corporate financial backing, he was still way behind in the polls, but he didn’t stop trying. The Sun wrote that during the last 30 days, he claimed “he targeted 30,000 Baltimore voters” and “spent Election Day visiting polling stations and attempting to win over supporters.”

But clearly that wasn’t enough. In addition to him throwing his name in the hat a mere three months ago, there were many factors standing in his way to winning over the city.

First, the city’s residents didn’t really know him that well, former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke (1987 to 1999) told the Huffington Post“He’s far better known outside of the city than he is with local voters. About every voter that I’ve talked to about this kind of scratched their head about the national interest in the Mckesson campaign.”

The New York Times also wrote that this lack of connection was also exacerbated by the fact that he doesn’t “know the various players in Baltimore,” and that “his campaign managers, Sharhonda Bossier and her deputy, Maria Griffin, are young Californians” who met him on Twitter earlier this year.

In addition, there were many questions about Mckesson’s dedication to the city. Kwame Rose told he Huff Po that when he first met Mckesson during the Freddie Gray protests last year, “he would say he’s a Ferguson protester and his fight isn’t for Baltimore. Is it weird? I think it is,” Rose said. “For him not to have interacted with people involved in the movement from Baltimore City, I think that’s very problematic.”

But regardless of the critiques and his defeat, Mckesson seems to be taking the loss in stride and ready to get back into his old grind.

In the end, State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh came in first with 37 percent of the vote, narrowly beating out former Mayor Sheila Dixon, who won 34 percent of the vote, the Sun noted

Congrats Senator Pugh! Good luck this fall.


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