A local election in Georgia got a jolt of excitement Monday when the rapper Killer Mike threw his hat in the ring.
But it turned out to be the shortest campaign in history – or the longest, depending on how you look at it.
With the slogan “If I win, We Win,” Killer Mike made his campaign announcement on Instagram to his 110,000 followers.
“In Atlanta Georgia there will be special election tomorrow for District 55,” he wrote, referring to a state house district. “I would like as many people as possible to go to the polls and write in Michael Render.”
Render is his real name.
Local politicos quickly took to social media to point out that he couldn’t run as a write-in candidate without filing the necessary paperwork.
But the announcement also got a lot of love, both from the media and from fellow Atlanta rap luminary Big Boi, who shared the news on his Facebook page.
Five hours after he posted his initial plea for votes, Killer Mike posted a video on Instagram saying he didn’t have the paperwork and he couldn’t stand as a write-in. Like any good candidate, he thanked his supporters and urged people to cast a vote “for a qualified candidate.”
The shortest campaign ever? Not necessarily. The rapper left the door open: “I will run in the future and we will win!”
Regardless of whether the rapper ever shows up on a ballot, or in the marble halls of the Georgia General Assembly, this isn’t his first foray into politics.
The Grammy Award-winning Atlanta native uses his platform to talk about criminal justice reform and civic engagement. He’s been interviewed by CNN several times, made memorable comments about the unrest in Baltimore on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and, Tuesday night, he was on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”
So while Killer Mike won’t be the next state representative from Georgia’s 55th House district, he succeeded in drawing national attention to what is perhaps the most overlooked type of contest in American democracy: a special election.
For comparison’s sake, in Georgia’s most recent special election, only 13% of eligible voters went to the polls. It’s not uncommon for voter turnout to dip into the single digits.
Killer Mike seemed to be taking the interest in his candidacy as just that kind of win.
“The fact that ya’ll are willing to support me shows change is possible,” he wrote.