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

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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gov’s race prospects should be asked if they’ll help FAMU alumni regain majority on BOT

L-R: Andrew Gillum, John Morgan, Gwen Graham, Mike Huckabee, and Adam Putnam
Last year, Florida A&M University alumni became a minority in the 11 appointed university Board of Trustees (BOT) seats. Alumni hold most of the appointed seats on the BOTs at the University of Florida and Florida State University.

The small number of FAMU alumni that the Florida Governor’s Office and Board of Governors (BOG) have chosen to appoint to the FAMU BOT is an insult. It suggests that FAMU doesn’t have as many alumni who are up to the task of leadership as UF and FSU.

FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA) President Gregory L. Clark and past NAA President Tommy Mitchell have spoken out publicly about the problem. But so far Gov. Rick Scott and the BOG haven’t announced any intention to correct it.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Levitt: “The Democratic Party must be taught to earn our votes”

Members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus endorse Hillary Clinton in 2016
On November 16, 2016, the Orlando Sentinel published an op-ed by Florida A&M University College of Law Professor Jeremy I. Levitt about the results of the recent presidential election.

Levitt is urging African Americans to demand more from the Democratic Party in exchange for their votes.

From the op-ed: “African-Americans should give Donald Trump a chance”:

I’m an ardent critic of Donald J. Trump, but I realize that he will be the 45th president of the United States. He won; get over it. If you don't like him, do something about it: Join the anti-Trump protests around the country, help establish a "third way," or move to Canada. I've lived in Canada, and if "Jacques Frost" doesn't pinch you, Canada's ridiculously high income and sales taxes — together with a cruel currency-exchange rate and nice-nasty culture — may have you running south for the wall-free border.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

FAMU College of Law alumna elected judge in Brevard County

By Robin Holmes
FAMU College of Law

Kelly McCormack Ingram, a 2008 graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) College of Law, has been elected Brevard County judge in Group 2. Ingram was elected during the general election on Nov. 8.

“The reason I ran for judge is that I want to be in position to do what’s right,” said Ingram, who will be assigned to the misdemeanor criminal court.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Graham might face primary battle in race for Democratic gubernatorial nomination

U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham still hasn’t officially announced a decision about whether she will seek the Democratic nomination for the Florida governorship in 2018. But some both inside and outside of the party are already treating her like she’s the frontrunner.

Back during a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Tallahassee on November 7, U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden made encouraging remarks about the possibility of Graham winning the Governor’s Mansion. Her father, Bob Graham, served as the governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987.

“Gwen Graham, great congresswoman who I predict may be your next governor down here,” Biden said.

The Republican Governors Association also appears to see her as the likely Democratic nominee. Yesterday, it released a statement taking jabs at her on the issue of “transparency.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

FLBC was more concerned about pursuing big donors than defending FAMU

Tim Ryan, who is challenging Nancy Pelosi for the minority leader position in the U.S. House of Representatives, recently made a spot on comment about a big reason why the Democratic Party did poorly in the 2016 elections.

“The public sees Democrats … as being elite and more concerned with the donor class than we are with them,” Ryan said.

That’s certainly true for the Florida Democratic Party, which has had a lack of leadership for years. The state of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus (FLBC) during the 2014-2016 term reflected that problem.

The FLBC was once one of the most consistent sources of advocacy that Florida A&M University had. But in the 2014-2016 term the group simply ignored a number of attacks against the university.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Williams, Bullard end 2016 with election losses

Today, the Florida Legislature will officially begin its 2016-2018 term. Former Rep. Alan Williams and former Sen. Dwight Bullard, both alumni of Florida A&M University, will not be among those who take the oath of office today.

Williams represented House District 8 for eight years between 2008 and 2016. Facing term limits, he ran for Leon County Supervisor of Elections this year but lost to Mark Earley. Earley served as voting systems manager under long-time Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho, who endorsed his candidacy.

Bullard held the District 39 Senate seat from 2012 to 2016 and ran for the District 40 Senate seat after the district maps were redrawn. He lost to state Rep. Frank Artiles, a Republican.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Democratic voters give cold shoulder to Joyner, Jones’ chosen successors

Sen. Arthenia Joyner and Rep. Mia Jones, who are alumni of Florida A&M University, are both leaving the Florida Legislature this year due to term limits. They both publicly backed chosen successors for their seats during the 2016 Democratic primaries, but Democratic voters gave cold shoulders to those endorsements.

Joyner endorsed state Rep. Ed Narain for the District 19 Senate seat she currently holds. Narain is the current chairman of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus (FLBC).

But state Rep. Daryl Rouson defeated Narain in the Democratic primary and won the Senate seat.

Jones endorsed Leslie Jean-Bart to replace her in House District 14, but Jean-Bart lost the Democratic primary to now state Rep.-elect Kimberly Daniels.

Last year, Jones expressed interest in entering the Democratic primary in the redrawn Fifth Congressional District of Florida but stayed out when incumbent U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown decided to seek reelection. Brown lost the Democratic primary to now U.S. Rep. Alfred “Al” Lawson, a FAMU alumnus.