In a Medium post dated Nov. 19, Messam thanked his supporters, and said, “I will continue to be engaged during this 2020 cycle to ensure that we defeat Donald Trump.”
But Messam’s campaign struggled to gain traction in a Democratic field of initially over 20 candidates, many of whom already had widespread name recognition. He failed to qualify for the June, July and September primary debates in a process that looked at candidates’ polling and donor results. And in one Des Moines Register/CNN poll of Iowa voters in June, not a single respondent said they planned on voting for him.
Messam blamed cable news channels, in part, for his failure to take off as a candidate. Many of the other candidates appeared in town hall events on those channels in which, Messam said, “you’re exposed to millions of Americans at a time for a sustained amount of time.”
“You are able to gain donors or at least, at a minimum, name-brand awareness as a candidate. That helps you in terms of polling, in terms of donors,” he told South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel in June.
Messam was elected mayor of Miramar, located about 20 miles north of Miami, in 2015. He had previously served on the city commission and, before that, started a “climate-conscious” construction company with his wife, Angela.
In his presidential campaign, the mayor said he would prioritize eliminating student loan debt, strengthening gun control laws and repealing tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.
Messam also highlighted his parents’ experience as immigrants and said he would fight for the “American dream.”
“I’m the son of immigrants,” Messam told CNN in March. “My father came to this country from Jamaica as a contract sugar cane cutter, cutting cane for 75 cents a row of sugar cane, chasing the American dream. And I’m living that American dream. But I see that American dream slipping away for a lot of Americans.”