For several hours yesterday, Michael “Killer Mike” Render, member of beloved rap group Run the Jewels, was arguably the leading candidate in a special election for a vacant seat in the Georgia State Legislature. After sitting representative Tyrone Brooks was indicted on charges of mail, tax, and wire fraud, he was forced to vacate the seat, leading to a special election in House District 55. Or, as Killer Mike explained it:
The guy Tyrone Brooks, who used to hold the seat, got involved with some sticky business with donations and charities and that type of thing, so the seat is wide open. There are a few decent candidates that people should look into and they should get out and vote.
Killer Mike announced his intention to run as a write-in candidate for the seat on Twitter:
The announcement spread from there, spawning a host of quick-and-ready web pieces and tweets notifying potential voters of Killer Mike’s candidacy, which was nothing if not a natural extension of his (fiery yet thoroughly equable) recent appearances on political talk shows. Yesterday, in an appearance that was likely taped before the announcement of his candidacy, KM sat at a roundtable on a particularly hilarious episode of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, where the panelists discussed racial appropriation in light of Rachel Dolezal. In May, Killer Mike appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher, where he stopped the show with his brilliant excoriation of the media’s coverage of recent events in Ferguson and Baltimore.
A Michael Render candidacy would have certainly been cause for widespread jubilation among Killer Mike fans old and new — few could forget his emotional speech last November at a Run the Jewels’ show in St. Louis, Missouri, just hours after the Grand Jury’s failure to indict in the case of Michael Brown.
Unfortunately, though, Killer Mike will not be able to run for Tyrone Brooks’ vacated seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. It turns out that running for the seat requires registration, even for write-in candidates. In Killer Mike’s own words:
I can’t run. BUT For the folks that were willing to Write in #MichaelRender Thank U so Much. I am gonna run one day and WE WILL WIN. However in Ga I wud have to officially enter as a “write in” vs being an Actual Write in (those are the breaks) but, I really felt it important to draw attention to this race. We have BIG Problems in education, schools and prison reform in Ga and I wanna see change. I wanna see Yall active in Local politics. The fact that ya’ll are willing to support me shows change is possible and while I run around rapping with El-P doing #RunTheJewels for the next few yrs I want ya’ll to get & stay active and Run for office! We need more New and fresh ideas & people! Now Tomorrow yall choose between two sisters, a Junior & a white indie (really republican and I’m cool with that too if he does the job so give him a look) I suggest yall Google them read up tonight and GO VOTE tomorrow! I will Run In the Future and We Will Win! Love and Respect Michael Render
Nevertheless, Killer Mike will still run for political office one day, and he may yet run for the District 55 seat next year:
But I do plan on running for political office one day. The next election I’m probably going to go register as a write-in. If it would’ve worked, I definitely would’ve been going to Washington to represent the people of Georgia.
There is no doubt that Georgians would be lucky to have a representative in Killer Mike, but given that he wants to run for something next year, it’s fair to ask if he shouldn’t go bigger. After all, the District 55 seat isn’t the only election in 2016.