Sat | Dec 2, 2023

J’can Wayne Messam secures 90% support in Miramar election

Published:Friday | March 17, 2023 | 12:39 AMLester Hinds/Gleaner Writer
Miramar’s first black mayor, Jamaican Wayne Messam, who secured re-election this week with more than 90 per cent support.
Miramar’s first black mayor, Jamaican Wayne Messam, who secured re-election this week with more than 90 per cent support.

Jamaican Wayne Messam was overwhelmingly re-elected mayor of the city of Miramar in Florida for his third four-year term on Tuesday.

Messam received 90.6 per cent of the vote with his challenger, Rudy Theophin, bagging the remaining 9.4 per cent.

Reacting to his victory, Messam said that he was grateful for the vote of confidence by the residents of Miramar.

“They have spoken loud and clear. I don’t take this mandate lightly, and I am humbled to be re-elected as mayor of the most amazing city. I look forward to continuing to partner with our community to achieve greatness beyond our wildest dreams,” he told The Gleaner in a telephone interview.

Jamaica’s consul general to Miami, Oliver Mair, congratulated Messam on his re-election, adding that he was also looking forward to continuing working with him and all other elected officials in South Florida, especially those of Jamaican descent, for the betterment of the community.

“Our community and Jamaica as a whole have benefited from having our own people in elected office in South Florida and I am confident that the relationship that exists between the Consulate, Jamaica and these elected officials will continue to the benefit of Jamaica and our community,” he said.

There are some 31 elected officials in South Florida who were either born in Jamaica or are of Jamaican descent.

This is the second straight time that Messam has cruised through re-election, having won his previous election with over 86 per cent of the vote.

Messam, a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, has been leading the southwest Broward County city since 2015.

The city’s first black mayor, he still has projects that he would like to see to completion in what he calls one of the country’s most progressive cities.

A first-generation American, Messam was born to Jamaican immigrants, with his father working the sugar cane fields as a migrant contract worker.

Messam was a member of Florida State University’s 1993 National Championship football team. And when he is not running the city’s affairs, he is busy working as a general contractor, running Messam Construction.

The Sun Sentinel, which endorsed Messam when he was up for re-election, said that under his leadership, some of the US biggest corporations have their headquarters in Miramar.

Messam had far outraised first-timer Theophin, who works in financial services with OneBox Funding, during the campaign.

A financial campaign report showed that Messam raised nearly US$74,000 to Theophin’s US$1,600.