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Born in Pahokee, Florida and raised in South Bay, Mayor Wayne Messam became the first African American mayor of the city of Miramar after unseating a 16-year incumbent in 2015. Messam's parents immigrated to South Florida from Jamaica. His father worked as a laborer in the sugar cane fields of the Florida Glades after coming to the United States, and his mother would cook to feed the migrant workers. Messam earned a full football scholarship to Florida State University, where he started at wide receiver and was a member of the 1993 National Championship Team under legendary coach Bobby Bowden. He would go on to build one of the fastest-growing, minority-owned construction businesses in the country. Wayne married his college sweetheart and business partner, Angela, more than 20 years ago. They have three children, Wayne II, and twin daughters, Kayla and Kyla.
While lacking name recognition outside Florida, Messam told CNN that under his leadership, the city of Miramar has passed living wage legislation and has made great strides recovering from Hurricane Irma. He has also filed a lawsuit against the state so local mayors can advocate for gun control in their cities. "These are issues that have national implications and I'm looking forward to be that agent of change for the American people and I'm so excited to launch my candidacy to be the president of the United States," he said. In his campaign announcement video, the Democrat claimed that "Washington is broken," listing problems like rising prescription drug prices, the effects of climate change and crippling student debt.
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