Several months ago, I got a call from my dear friend, mentor and fellow Rattler, Mario Henderson. He informed me of his decision to run for the Daytona Beach City Commission. This call didn’t come as much of a surprise; anyone who knew Mario during his time at Florida A&M knows his tenure was punctuated by service and leadership.
I was thrilled to learn that despite having just graduated from FAMU, he was holding true to his life’s calling of service to others.
He told me what he envisioned for Daytona Beach and the role he could play. Just days ago, he called me again; this time with news that he had filed his candidacy for the city commissions seat 5. That’s when I knew I had to do all I could to help him get elected.
So it is in that spirit, as the statewide Director of Political Affairs for Florida College Democrats and president of the FAMU Chapter of College Democrats, I am pleased to endorse Mario Henderson.
I’m confident in his ability to lead, but more importantly his willingness to serve.
I’ve had a front row seat to his candidacy; he was actively involved in the FAMU Student Government Association and organized nearly 4,000 college students to register, educate and get out the vote in the 2008 elections.
He worked on Capitol Hill, which allowed opportunities for students, and he has met individuals such as then Sen. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Sali Merridor, a former U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
Mario’s commitment to affording opportunity for every American isn’t just convenient rhetoric, but rather a deeply rooted belief that everyone should have a “seat at the table.”
I know that if elected to Daytona Beach’s city commission, he will bring with him, a heart filled with gratitude and sense of optimism about the challenges that he will face. Henderson understands the problems facing those in his community.
There is no question that he loves Daytona Beach.
In fact, although very active during his undergraduate years in politics in Tallahassee, he never changed his voter registration to Leon County. He wanted to remain a voter in his hometown so that he could stay connected to the people in his community and the issues facing them.
Now, his race won’t be easy, but then again progress never is easy. Some may lead, some may follow, but none of us can go it alone.
So I encourage all Rattlers, especially those in Daytona Beach, to rally behind Henderson and give him the support he’ll need leading up to the August 24, primary.
I look forward to traveling to Daytona Beach in the coming weeks to join him on the campaign trail as he travels his community working to pave a ‘new way forward.’
In the mean time, donating $10, $20, $50, or whatever you can will help our fellow Rattler continue to “strike from the top.” God speed my friend.