Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Richardson could have pathway for another Florida Senate run

State Sen. Bill Montford, whose district includes Florida A&M University, might soon step down from that position to run for mayor of Tallahassee. That could create a pathway for another Senate run by long-time FAMU advocate Curtis Richardson.

Richardson sought the Democratic nomination to succeed FAMU alumnus Alfred “Al” Lawson in that seat back in 2010 when Lawson was set to leave due to term limits. But Montford ended up winning the primary and general election. Tallahassee voters later elected Richardson to the City Commission in 2014, where he currently serves as mayor pro-tempore.

Montford is now coming close to his own Senate term limit in 2020 and must make a decision on whether jump into the open Tallahassee mayor’s race. He would have to leave the Senate before declaring his candidacy due to the “resign to run” law. Montford is expected to be the front-runner if he seeks the job.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

FAMU alumna declares victory in Atlanta mayoral race

Keisha Lance Bottoms with former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who endorsed her candidacy
With the results in from 100 percent of the 171 precincts, Florida A&M University alumna Keisha Lance Bottoms finished with 46,464 votes (50.41 percent) to opponent Mary Norwood’s 45,705 (49.54 percent) in the Atlanta mayoral race.

Bottoms declared victory with her 759 vote margin.

“Atlanta, I'm so honored to be your 60th mayor,” she told a crowd of supporters.

But Norwood hasn’t conceded. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “she says she's waiting for absentee ballots from the military and provisional ballots that won't be tabulated until Thursday. Norwood is asking for a recount.”

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Rattler receives biggest number of votes in Atlanta mayoral race, heads into run-off

Florida A&M University alumna Keisha Lance Bottoms received the biggest number of votes in the crowded Atlanta mayoral race on November 7, 2017. She will now head into a run-off on December 5th.

With 100 percent of the 172 precincts reporting, Bottoms came at the head of the pack with 25,347 votes (26 percent). Mary Norwood took the second place spot with the 20,144 votes (21 percent). A total of 12 candidates were on the ballot.

Bottoms and Norwood are both members of the Atlanta City Council.

Back on October 11, incumbent Mayor Kasim Reed publicly endorsed Bottoms’ bid to become his successor. Reed defeated Norwood in the mayoral race office back in 2009.

Bottoms is a Magma Cum Laude alumna of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. She is married with four children.

FAMU alumnus wins mayoral election in Saint Paul

A Rattler will become the first black mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Melvin Carter, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Florida A&M University School of Business and Industry, received more than 50 percent of the votes in a crowded field of ten candidates.

Carter is the executive director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, serving as an advisor to Gov. Mark Dayton. Dayton joined U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Congressman Keith Ellison in endorsing Carter’s campaign to become mayor.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gubernatorial candidates have long campaigned at FAMU Homecoming without promising to boost state earmarks for HBCUs

Alex Sink performs coin toss during 2010 FAMU Homecoming game
For years gubernatorial candidates have campaigned at Florida A&M University during its Homecoming without promising to give a bigger piece of the multi-billion dollar state budget to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Florida.

Democratic candidates usually just come to the FAMU campus wearing Orange & Green and talk broadly about supporting education, but they don’t talk about giving more earmarks to the four HBCUs in the state. The candidates then spend the rest of their visits shaking hands and taking pictures.

This was recently seen in the two failed Democratic gubernatorial campaigns against GOP nominee Rick Scott.

Back in 2010, Democratic nominee Alex Sink walked around saying hello to tailgaters outside Bragg Memorial Stadium and then performed the coin toss to kick off the Homecoming game against Morgan State. But there was no announcement of a spending plan to bring more state money to FAMU, Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Memorial University, or Edward Waters College.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Clinton promised $25B for HBCUs, Fla. gubernatorial candidates haven’t promised dollar amount for new spending on HBCUs

Back in 2016, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took her GOP opponent Donald Trump to task for not having a plan to aid historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). She proposed $25 billion in new federal spending just for HBCUs.

“I believe it’s essential to support HBCUs, which graduate almost half of the black teachers in America and have helped millions of African Americans gain a foothold in the middle class,” Clinton wrote. “By contrast, Donald Trump has no plan to support HBCUs.”

“We’ll make a historic $25 billion investment across all HBCUs—public and private—so that each one has the funding to keep creating opportunities and providing more support services for underserved students,” Clinton added. “That includes expanding on-campus child care and creating more scholarships for students who are also parents to make it easier for them to obtain a degree.”

Florida has four HBCUs that would have benefited from that money: Florida A&M University, Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Memorial University, and Edward Waters College.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

No endorsement yet from Lawson in Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary

Homecoming week is here and the Florida A&M University campus will likely be visited by the two Tallahassee-based Democratic candidates in the governor’s race, Mayor Andrew Gillum and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham. Both candidates have announced numerous endorsements from public officials, but so far neither one has been endorsed by the most prominent elected FAMU alumnus in North Florida.

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat, has yet to state who he will support in his party’s contest for the gubernatorial nomination.

Gillum has received the endorsements of U.S. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, a FAMU alumnus, and U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson. He has also outpaced Graham in gaining the endorsements of current and former members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus.

But Graham is still working gain the backing of politicians who represent districts with black majorities both inside and outside of Florida. She has the endorsement of state Sen. Darryl Rouson (District 19) of St. Petersburg. Graham was also endorsed by U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights legend.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Scott, governor’s race candidates remain quiet on small number of alumni on FAMU BOT

It’s been more than a year and a half since the Florida A&M University (FAMU) National Alumni Association (NAA) publicly spoke out about the small number of alumni on the school’s Board of Trustees (BOT).

At that time, alumni only held three of the 11 appointed seats on the BOT, down from six the previous year. Now, there are only two appointed alumni trustees at FAMU. But at both the University of Florida and Florida State University, alumni hold the majority of the 11 appointed seats.

“We have a lot of talented graduates from FAMU,” FAMU NAA President Gregory L. Clark said in a 2016 interview with WCTV-6. “I think we should take a hard look and tap into some of the talent that is out there. All we’re asking for is a fair shot at looking at some of our graduates out there to serve on the board of trustees.”

Monday, May 08, 2017

Florida Gov’s race: Still no promises to help restore alumni majority on FAMU BOT

L-R: Gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, and Adam Putnam
On May 5, U.S. President Donald Trump released a signing statement with H.R. 244 that appeared to question the constitutionality of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Capital Financing Program. The statement has raised concerns about whether the administration is committed to supporting continued federal funding for HBCUs.

Florida A&M University, the only public HBCU in the state, has taken a number of attacks over the past six years from Gov. Rick Scott, a big Trump supporter. A recent one happened in 2015 when appointment decisions by Scott and the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) led to FAMU alumni being reduced to a minority on the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT).

FAMU went from having six of the 11 appointed seats on its Board of Trustees filled by alumni in 2015 to now only two. At both the University of Florida and Florida State University, alumni hold the majority of the 11 appointed seats.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bruno, Harrison re-elected to lead FAMU SGA

On Thursday, April 6, Florida A&M University students re-elected Justin Bruno and Devin Harrison to lead the Student Government Association (SGA). They will begin their second terms as SGA president and vice-president, respectively, next month.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, “Bruno and Harrison defeated their run-off opponents by a margin of 714-655.”

Back during their campaign for re-election, Bruno and Harrison released a video that discussed their long battle to take office after FAMU students initially elected them on February 16, 2016.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

FAMU SGA presidential election heads into run-off

The FAMUan reports that there will be a run-off in the race for the positions of Student Government Association (SGA) president and vice-president.

Incumbent President Justin Bruno and Vice-President Devin Harrison will face-off against the Marquise McMiller/William Gardner ticket. McMiller, a staunch Republican, who on his Facebook page had been supportive of Donald Trump, and Gardner are both members of the FAMU Student Senate.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Scott within striking distance of Nelson’s U.S. Senate seat after helping Trump win Florida

The Florida GOP is gaining ground in its long-held goal to unseat the last statewide elected Democratic official in the state.

A recent poll by the Saint Leo University showed that Republican Gov. Rick Scott is within the margin of error in a potential 2018 general election challenge against incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.

The poll asked respondents whom they would support if the November 2018 election was being that day and they were presented with a choice between Scott and Nelson for Senate. The results were close, with Nelson’s support at 38.7 percent compared to Scott at 34.3 percent. Nearly 17 percent could not decide, and 10.3 percent said they want someone else.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bruno, Harrison running for reelection as top FAMU SGA leaders

The FAMUan reports that Justin Bruno and Devin Harrison are running for reelection to the positions of Florida A&M University student body president and vice-president, respectively.

Back on February 16, 2016 Bruno and Harrison won the positions of SGA president and vice-president by 163 votes. They received 1,366 to the 1,203 votes of the Victor Chrispin/Pernell Mitchell ticket. But they were not able to take office until Wednesday, January 11, 2017 due to a long legal battle over the election results and the failure of Student Government Association (SGA) officials to schedule a new election in a timely fashion.

If Bruno wins reelection to the SGA presidency, he will follow Tonette Graham and Gallop Franklin as students who were elected twice to represent the FAMU student body on the Board of Trustees.

Two additional tickets have filed for the race. One ticket consists of Marquise McMiller and William Gardner. The other consists of Dajuh Sawyer and Byron Carter.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Many Florida voters still undecided about potential field in 2018 gubernatorial race

L-R: Andrew Gillum, John Morgan, Patrick Murphy, Mike Huckabee, Adam Putnam
The results of a new Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey showed that many Florida voters remain undecided about the announced and potential candidates in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Democratic respondents were asked to choose from a list of names a candidate they would support if the party primary for the governor was being held that day. “I don’t know” was the most frequent answer with 35.5 percent of responses.

Former Congressman Patrick Murphy, who opposed U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in the most recent election, came in next with 20.2 percent. Though Murphy was elected to Congress in 2012 and 2014, Frank Orlando, political scientist and director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, said it was the unsuccessful race against Rubio that gave Murphy enough name recognition statewide to be named so often by Democrats taking the survey.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Losses continue for alumni ex-lawmakers who ignored attacks on FAMU

Florida A&M University received poor representation from its alumni who served in the Florida Legislature between 2015 and 2016.

In 2015, FAMU lost control of a multi-million dollar college budget after 28 years and saw its alumni become a minority in the 11 appointed university Board of Trustees seats. But the six FAMU alumni who held seats in the legislature at that time simply ignored those attacks against the university.

Four of those individuals are now ex-lawmakers who have taken some big losses since leaving the state capitol.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Student Senate launches apparent attempt to return Smith to president’s chair Bruno won

On Wednesday, Justin Bruno took office as FAMU Student Government Association (SGA) president nearly 11 months after students voted to elect him to that job. The FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) directory was also updated to show that Bruno is a member of that body.

Jaylen Smith is now in the seat he was originally supposed to be in since May, the Student Senate presidency. He served as interim SGA President for about seven months due to a legal battle over the Spring 2016 election results and the failure of SGA officials to move quickly to schedule a new election.

But it now looks like some of Smith’s fellow senators are moving to get him back into the seat that Bruno won.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bruno takes office as FAMU SGA president

Nearly 11 months after Florida A&M University students voted to elect him as their top leader, Justin Bruno has at long last taken office. On Wednesday, he was officially declared the Student Government Association (SGA) president for the 2016-2017 year.

He and his vice-president, Devin Harrison, will serve until May. Harrison will run to succeed Bruno in February.

Back on February 16, 2016 Bruno and Harrison won the positions of SGA president and vice-president by 163 votes. They received 1,366 to the 1,203 votes of the Victor Chrispin/Pernell Mitchell ticket.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

FAMU down to four alumni lawmakers in Florida Legislature

Florida A&M University has gone from having six alumni in the Florida Legislature to just four.

The FAMU graduates who will serve during the 2017 session are: Rep. Ramon Alexander (D-Tallahassee), Rep. Kamia L. Brown (D-Ocoee), Sen. Bobby Powell (D-West Palm Beach), and Rep. Shevrin Jones (D-West Park).

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Naples) attended FAMU from 1996 to 1999 but transferred to Florida State University (FSU) to finish his bachelor’s degree.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Committeeman election loss leaves Bullard ineligible for Fla. Democratic Party chair race

Four days after the presidential election, the managing editor of The Miami New Times ran an opinion column entitled “The Florida Democratic Party Is a Damn Disgrace.” It included a comment that former state Sen. Dwight Bullard made about the state of the Florida party:

“There needs to be a real shakeup internally from top down, bottom up, and I say that as a local party chair,” Bullard said. “At the end of the day, there needs to be a more deliberate game plan on the message.”

Bullard later confirmed that he wanted to seek the chair position for the Florida Democratic Party. But he is ineligible to run after failing to win a county-level party office, which is a requirement for state chair candidates.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

1998: Huckabee wins 48% of votes by African Americans in Arkansas gubernatorial race

Gov. Mike Huckabee campaigns at a Baptist church in S.C. in 2015
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is currently #1 in the field of potential contenders for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Florida. A Saint Leo University poll had him at 31.5 percent.

If Huckabee is nominated, he would likely continue to actively seek the support of African American voters like he has done since his political career in Arkansas. Back in 1998, Huckabee won 48 percent of the votes cast by African Americans in his Arkansas gubernatorial general election race against Democrat Bill Bristow.  

Huckabee also made numerous efforts to reach out to African American voters during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2015, especially in South Carolina.