Pam Powell

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Democratic candidate, Florida House District 41

Public Service

Never held elective office.

Occupation

TV talk show host, motivational speaker, Pam Powell International Ministries Inc.

Education

  • International Seminary, Orlando, FL

  • Primerica Financial Services University, Duluth, GA

  • Majestic Bible Institute & Seminary and the Hope Bible Institute & Seminary of Chicago, IL, Honorary Doctorate of Divinity

Religion

Christian

Television talk show host, motivational speaker and a former House candidate Pam Powell is seeking the Democratic nomination for the House District 41 seat in a crowded field to unseat incumbent Travaris McCurdy in the Aug. 23 primary.

The newly redistricted District 41 — which covers much of the area in House District 46, currently represented by McCurdy — includes a sliver of Ocoee as well as the neighborhoods of Parramore, Orlo Vista, Oak Ridge and Washington Shores — a largely African American, mostly working-class community. The winner of the Democratic primary will face the Green Party’s Robin Denise Harris in the November general election. No Republican is running in the race.

A well known political activist for decades, who once backed McCurdy, Powell is now “openly critical” of the House lawmaker, saying he hasn’t communicated well with the community, according to Florida Politics.

“I am acutely sensitive to the issues that affect our community,” Powell told Florida Politics. “One thing going on right now is voter suppression. So there are things I want to take on. I am also concerned with the declining economic climate that we’re dealing with in our communities. I believe we need to increase the minimum wage. We need to provide more affordable housing. I know people who are struggling, whether senior citizens or single parents.”

Powell, who is also a minister, said she is also concerned about increasing gun violence, which claimed her father’s life when she was young. She also wants better health care for people since she is a two-time breast cancer survivor. “A lot of people who are not of the income level, they don’t even go to a doctor to get a mammogram,” she said. “I just want to make a positive difference in the community. I’m going to work with other policymakers. I’m all about working in a bipartisan fashion,” she said.

In a recent Orlando Sentinel story about the race, Powell said she’s concerned about the state’s new voter suppression laws that tighten restrictions on the use of “drop boxes” for vote-by-mail ballots and that prevent voter rights organizations from offering food and water to voters waiting in line at polling stations. “We have to be very concerned that our voters are going to get their votes counted. A lot of the Black and brown members of our community have been really disenfranchised,” she told the Sentinel.


Powell ran in 2012 for the District 46 seat, but lost to Bruce Antone, who went on to serve four terms before being term-limited. He too is vying for the District 41 seat this year. Two years ago, Powell entered the race to succeed Antone but withdrew later in a race that McCurdy won.

— Dibya Sarkar