Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida, drops out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race

Key Points
  • Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida, drops out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race after failing to break through in a crowded field.
  • Messam did not qualify for any of the Democratic debates and was not included in most major polls.
  • He raised just $5 in the third quarter.
Democratic presidential candidate, mayor of Miramar, Florida Wayne Messam speaks to the crowd during the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Party State Convention on June 22, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Sean Rayford | Getty Images

Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida, dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary after failing to break through in a crowded field.

The little-known candidate tweeted his decision to suspend his campaign on Wednesday.

Messam did not qualify for any of the Democratic debates and was not counted in many major polls.

His campaign raised just over $50,000 in the second quarter of 2019, according to FEC filings, a mere fraction of even the lowest-earning candidates in the race. And he raised a paltry $5 in the third quarter.

By contrast, another small-town mayor and presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, raised nearly $25 million in the second quarter, topping the list. Buttigieg raised $19 million in the third quarter.

Messam joined the race touting his family's American dream story and his record as Miramar's first black mayor. He focused on issues including health care, climate change, student debt and dysfunction in Washington.

Messam owns a successful construction business with his wife and is a former Florida State University football star.

"Despite not getting the same early media exposure as other candidates ... and transferring millions of dollars from existing federal campaign accounts as many of the candidates did, my campaign shocked many by being recognized as a credible candidate, registering in polls in early states, nearly making the first debate and polling just behind the top four candidates in my battle ground state of Florida in a recent Florida Atlantic University Poll," Messam said in a statement. "In the end, it was not enough to continue this current race as a candidate."

He added that he will continue to be engaged during the 2020 cycle "to ensure that we defeat Donald Trump. My state of Florida will be ground zero and I intend to be a factor to mobilize our state for the Democratic Party Nominee."