FAMU Alumnus makes history

Photo Credit: FAMU Office of Communication

As a historic campaign season came to end early in the month of November, candidates who have ties to Florida A&M University fell short of their goal while others proved victorious. FAMU alumni Bobby Powell Jr. was successful in his campaign winning state senate and becoming another Rattler in politics.

Powell received more than 100 thousand votes from his county to top off his opponent Ron Berman 54 to 46 percent in votes.

As a former state representative, Powell worked on numerous bills that pushed for the advancement of African-Americans he represented in his community. As a state senator Powell plans to continue working for his community.

“Being a state senator requires a lot more responsibility as you’re covering a bigger area,” Powell said. “As a state representative, I represented nearly 160,000 people in the house district. As a state senator I represent almost 500,000. What that entails is someone who knows the issues. Someone who can work well with city or municipal leaders whether it be city council people or county commissioners. Having those relationships are necessary to move the ball forward in my county."

Powell formerly served in the House of Representatives for District 88 in West Palm Beach Florida, and has been involved in politics since 2012. After graduating from FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication as a public relations major in 2003, he went on to become a legislative aid for Mack Bernard.

While a student at FAMU, Powell was active in extracurricular activities as a member of the track and field team, historian for the Public Relations Student Society of America organization and an editor for the FAMUAN Newspaper. He admits he had no political aspirations but the skills he gained as a FAMU student put him on track to where he is now.

“Once I had mastered a lot of the skills that I had perfected in public relations and journalism, like speaking and writing, it came into play while working in the field of planning,” he said. “There was a lot of involvement with the community, a lot of community meetings that led to directly being directly involved into politics.”

As a newly elected state senator, Powell joins the slew of alumni in politics that FAMU boasts, including newly elected United States Congressman, Alfred Lawson and newly elected member of the Florida House of Representative, Ramon Alexander.