Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent state representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African-American elected official in the nation. In 2014 he was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in the state of South Carolina.
Earning his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College (where he served as student body president) and his law degree from the University of South Carolina, Sellers has followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers, in his tireless commitment to service. He has been a champion of progressive policies to address issues ranging from education and poverty to preventing domestic violence and childhood obesity.
His impressive list of accomplishments includes serving on President Barack Obama’s South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election. Sellers is widely considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party and a leading voice for his generation. That, coupled with his ability to reach across the aisle and get things done, has led to numerous accolades, including being named to Time magazine’s 40 Under 40 in 2010 and 2014, and in 2015 “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African-Americans. He has provided commentary and analysis on CNN and MSNBC, with multiple appearances on Hardball with Chris Matthews and Morning Joe. He currently serves on the National Council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
He has served as a featured speaker at events for the National Education Association, College Democrats of America National Convention, and the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In 2007 he delivered the opening keynote address to the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
Sellers practices law with the Strom Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina, and is a political commentator at CNN.