22-year-old with big goals qualifies for mayor’s race

    A 22-year-old Republican who’s campaigning on the promise of unity and a pledge to return 20% of his annual salary if he doesn’t meet his annual goals has qualified to run for mayor.

    Braylon Hyde, the state president of Urban Game Changers and a youth minister, joins a who’s-who of Baton Rouge politicians and business owners aiming for mayor.

    Hyde, in a telephone interview this afternoon, says he is tired of hearing that Baton Rouge is a city divided along different lines and, like other candidates, seeks to unify the different groups of citizens throughout the city-parish.

    “At the end of the day, most citizens I have spoken to are tired of Baton Rouge being labeled as a tale of two cities,” he says.

    “People are tired of the current state of affairs,” he adds. “They’re tired of career politicians running year after year giving them broken promises.”

    Hyde says as a unified city, Baton Rouge can accomplish anything—from creating a high-achieving school district to eradicating crime to bringing economic development to all corners of East Baton Rouge Parish.

    However, he realizes winning will not be easy, adding he wants to try to match every candidate dollar for dollar in fundraising. Still, he knows he has a Mt. Everest climb in front of him.

    With all noise from all the other races—presidential, congressional, Metro Council—he says airtime on radio and television will be at a premium, and therefore wants to run a grassroots campaign while trying to raise as much money as he can.

    Hyde says if elected, he will set several goals for himself at the beginning of each year and donate 20% of his salary if he does not accomplish those goals at the end of 12 months.

    “No other candidate will say that,” he says.

    —Ryan Broussard