Yesterday afternoon, Wall Street Journal politics reporter Tarini Parti was the first to announce that Wayne Messam — the mayor of Miramar, in Broward County — had raised just $5 this quarter for his incredibly long-shot bid for the 2020 presidency.
"Not a typo, y'all," Parti tweeted. "Five bucks."
With the total of donations barely enough to buy a ticket to a Marlins game, Messam at least reported that his campaign had spent nothing over the past few months. The candidate later told the New York Times the election filing was the result of some sort of "computer glitch."
It's been a wild ride for Messam, who still refuses to do the gracious thing and drop out already. Let's recap the topsy-turvy roller coaster of his 2020 presidential campaign.
March 2019: On March 30, at a rally at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Messam officially announces his run for president.
"I'm not backed by the super PACs and the big corporations. We won't have the most big donors, but your $5, your $10, your $20, or even your $100 can make this country even better," he somewhat presciently tells the crowd.
The campaign shows early promise, bringing aboard staffers who had worked to elect Bernie Sanders and 2018 Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. The Sun Sentinel notes that three of the top staffers had been involved in President Barack Obama's campaigns or administration.
April 2019: In early April, Messam comes out with guns blazing. He blasts Joe Biden for his inappropriate physical contact with women. But, as New Times reports that month, Messam has a few skeletons in his own workplace closet: As mayor in Miramar, he had supported two top city administrators accused of harassing women. (Messam's spokeswoman tells New Times the mayor's office "has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment.")
Later that month, things take a turn for the worse. Campaign staffers contact New Times to say Messam is withholding their paychecks. The bulk of the staff walks out, leaving the campaign in the lurch.
Around that time, Messam experiences his first election-related computer glitch: filing a financial report that mistakenly doubles the total of his campaign contributions.
May 2019: New Times continues digging into Messam's financial background, unearthing a history of tax liens, a home foreclosure, and a lawsuit from an employee demanding unpaid wages.
Oh, and the Onion parodies Messam in a savage faux brief titled "Mike Gravel Can’t Believe His Polling Numbers Neck-and-Neck With Fucking Nobody Like Wayne Messam."
June 2019: The first round of Democratic presidential debates are held in Miami, a mere 20 miles from Miramar City Hall. Messam does not qualify for a podium.
Later that month, Messam promises immigration activists he'll make an appearance at their weekly protest outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Miramar. He's a no-show.
August 2019: The Onion roasts Messam again!
October 2019: That brings us to the sad third-quarter financial report. The $5 total stands in stark contrast to Messam's first-quarter contributions of $43,500 and his second-quarter tally of $50,000.
According to his latest financial filing, Messam's campaign has $31,000 in cash on hand.
WAYNE MESSAM ONLY GOT $5 IN DONATIONS IN Q3 AND I MAY HAVE NEVER LAUGHED HARDER IN MY LIFE https://t.co/6ZuEq5CfDB— Crimson Postgrad's Anger Translator (@SenatorAmato) October 15, 2019
Still amazed by this, in a truly ridiculous election, the words “Raised $5 and spent $0” might be the funniest thing yet. Someone had to file that paperwork! The postage was probably more than the $5! Mayor Wayne Messam might have his campaign war chest in his wallet right now.— Brendel (@Brendelbored) October 15, 2019
So there you have it: a timeline of Wayne Messam's collapsing presidential campaign. With a little more than a year until the November 2020 election, there's still time for him to turn this leaking canoe around. But because he has almost no money, scant name recognition, and zero seconds of debate-related screen time, it seems safe to say this campaign is dead in the water.
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