Wayne Messam is running for president. Here is everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition.
Who is Wayne Messam?
Current job: Mayor of Miramar, FL and construction business owner.
Family: Messam and his wife Angela have two twin daughters and a son.
Hometown: Born and raised in South Bay, Florida.
Political party: Democratic.
Previous jobs: Miramar city commissioner.
Who is Wayne Messam's direct competition for the nomination?
Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can figure out who the other candidates competing in Messam's lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.
INSIDER has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate's constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.
Messam has not reached the level of prominence to be included in this poll.
What are Wayne Messam's policy positions?
- On healthcare:
- "We must re-evaluate our priorities and make healthcare a fundamental right - not a privilege - in this country," Messam says on his campaign website.
- Messam supports empowering the government to negotiate prescription drug prices for seniors.
- He's characterized Medicare-for-All as "a plausible plan" and while he wants to expand insurance coverage to all Americans, Messam has not outlined a mechanism to pay for it yet.
- On immigration:
- Messam supports providing a pathway to citizenship to the nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.
- "We should provide a pathway for citizenship to those individuals who are contributing to our society and the overwhelming majority are law-abiding individuals," Messam said.
- As mayor, Messam helped pass a resolution demanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement improve conditions at its local office by adding more restrooms and waiting areas, and pushed to make Miramar a sanctuary city.
- On climate change:
- Messam has called for "bold, direct climate action" that "rivals the New Deal in scope."
- "It's more than just responding to climate change. It would fortify our infrastructure but it will put people to work, and it'll be an economic stimulus as well," Messam said of his plan to combat climate change, though it lacks specifics.
- The Miramar mayor also fought to stop the construction of an oil well in the Everglades and criticized the Trump administration for withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.
- On campaign finance/election reform:
- Messam wants to abolish the electoral college in favor of the popular vote.
- The Miramar mayor is also promising to overturn Citizens United to "get rid of money in
- On abortion:
- Messam supports women "to make their own decision when it comes to their health. Period."
- On education:
- Messam supports forgiving all of the $1.6 trillion in student debt held by 45 million Americans, a proposal also being pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders.
- "This is a big issue ... and its especially hurting people of color, who need financial aid to get a higher education" Messam said of his student debt elimination proposal in an interview on "The Breakfast Club" radio show.
- Messam is also calling for more access to early child education and raising teachers' wages.
- "As President, I will make early child education accessible for every child. It's a matter of socio-economic security to ensure we start education the moment a child is born," Messam tweeted.
- On guns:
- Messam said he'd make the prevention of mass shootings his first priority if elected.
- The Miramar mayor has also prioritized cutting the gun death rate in half by the end of his first term as president.
- Under Messam's mayoral administration, Miramar joined a lawsuit to bar the state government from preempting cities who want to regulate gun laws on their own.
- He's described being part of the lawsuit as "a sensible thing to do."
- On criminal justice reform:
- The Miramar mayor supports the legalization of marijuana and expunging the records of people arrested under marijuana-related offenses.
- During his mayoral tenure, Messam passed a "Ban the Box" initiative that removes criminal history questions on applications for city government jobs.
- On foreign policy:
- Messam is calling for "the restoration of American global leadership" and rebuilding "our fractured alliances."
- On jobs and the economy:
- Messam is calling for the repeal of the 2017 Trump tax cuts, saying that it benefits the wealthy and corporations too much over the average American.
- Unter Messam's watch, the city in 2015 passed a law that established "a living wage" for city employees, though the salary bump from $8 to around $12 an hour affected only ten percent of the municipal workforce.
- The Miramar mayor also wants to encourage young people to start businesses "as a pathway to success and an alternative to college."
What are Wayne Messam's political successes?
- Messam has experience winning against more experienced political candidates, starting with his first race for city commissioner in 2011 against a rival who had earned the support of former and sitting commissioners.
- Messam later unseated an 16-year incumbent mayor in a 2015 three-way race, winning with 38% of the vote and becoming Miramar's first black mayor.
- The Messam administration was successful in its effort to raise wages for city employees.
How much money has Wayne Messam raised?
In a July 15 filing with the Federal Election Commission, Messam reported raising $50,000 since he launched his campaign on March 28 and has $31,000 cash on hand.
Could Wayne Messam beat Donald Trump?
INSIDER does not have sufficient polling data available, which at this late stage in the race is typically not a good sign.
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