Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
October 2, 2014

Secret Service Director Resigns Amid White House Intruder Scandal

Julia Pierson
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Reporter Spots Missing Boy While Covering Child's Disappearance

Missing Boy
Newsy

Florida Officer On Leave After Using Stun Gun On Woman

Viola Young
Leon County Sheriff

Prison Chief Outraged At Jailed Cop Killer's Invitation To Speak At College's Commencement

Mumia Abujamal
MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

Cop-Killer Commencement Invite Is 'How Freedom Of Expression Works'

Mumia Abu Jamal
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Brooklyn Police Tell Black Teens 'Get Out Of The Neighborhood:' Witness

Fox News' Ben Carson Thinks New AP U.S. History Course Will Make Students Join ISIS

Ben Carson
Laura Segall via Getty Images

Blacks Less Likely To Sell Drugs, Much More Likely To Be Arrested For It

Drug Dealing
jupiterimages

Politico's Absolutely Insane Obama Assassination Article

Obama Angry
NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

New York City Should Lead on Banning Credit Discrimination

Bill De Blasio
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cop Allegedly Shot Unarmed Man Parked In His Own Driveway

Ernest Satterwhite
Columbia County/AP

Here's What Happens If The Supreme Court Rejects Gay Marriage Cases

Supreme Court Gay Marriage
Mark Wilson via Getty Images

Rising Approval For Obama's Handling Of ISIS

Obama Syria
ASSOCIATED PRESS

States With More Abortion Laws Have Less Support For Women And Children's Health

Pregnant Woman
Buero Monaco via Getty Images

Rahm Emanuel Has 'Ticked Off A Lot Of People'

Rahm Black Voters
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ebola Case Diagnosed In U.S. For The First Time

Ebola Virus
Fuse via Getty Images

White House Might Cave On A New Minimum Wage Rule

Barack Obama
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Depression Is Not One-Size-Fits-All, And Neither Is The Treatment

Depression
Inti St Clair via Getty Images

Muslim NFL Player Penalized After Prayer In End Zone

Husain Abdullah
Instagram

'Judging America' Photo Series Captures Nation's Stereotypes

Judging America
Joel Pares Photography

How Pregnant Women Are Becoming Victims Of The Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Pregnant Women
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Police In Ferguson Lock Up Peaceful Daytime Protesters By Mistake, Chief Testifies

Jon Belmar
ASSOCIATED PRESS

For-Profit Prison Bankers Prey On Inmates' Families With Exorbitant Fees

Black Hands Jail
bortn76 via Getty Images

NYC To Raise Wages For Thousands At Bottom Of The Pay Scale

Bill De Blasio
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Climate Change Is Driving Heat Waves Around The World: Report

Hot Sun
Comstock via Getty Images

Some Louisiana Hospitals Are Sticking Rape Victims With Enormous Bills

Sad Black Woman
Izabela Habur via Getty Images

8 Arrested In Ferguson As Protests Show No Sign Of Slowing Down

Ferguson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How To Get Out Of An Exercise Rut

Exercise Rut
Gary Burchell

How Ferguson Is Stifling Journalism With Insanely High Fees

Ferguson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Obama Predicts Democrats Will Hold The Senate In November

Obama
Earl Gibson III via Getty Images

How Few Campus Sexual Assault Cases Result In Expulsion

Campus Rape
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Authorities Hunt Suspects Wanted In Shooting Of Ferguson Police Officer

Ferguson
AP

Eric Holder's Longtime Friend Says His Replacement Will Be A Woman

Eric Holder
AP/Getty

Inmate With Schizophrenia Died Of Thirst After 35 Days Of Solitary

Prison Bars
fotokon via Getty Images

Kenyan Breaks Marathon World Record

Dennis Kimetto
TOBIAS SCHWARZ via Getty Images

Obama: Mistrust Of Police Corroding American Society

Barack Obama
Earl Gibson III via Getty Images

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    1. HuffPost
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. View all RSS feeds

Tyler Perry Excited About Baby, But Not Delivery Room

Tyler Perry The Haves And The Have Nots

Diddy Reacts To Jennifer Lopez's 'Booty' Just As You'd Imagine

Puff Jennifer Lopez
KMazur via Getty Images

The 'Jury Is Out' On Whether Tracy Morgan Will Ever Perform Again

Tracy Morgan
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The Hypnotic (And Very Glittery) Beauty Of Haitian Vodou Flags

Siler

New 'Update' Anchor Reveals Why Getting Hired At 'SNL' Is 'Weird'

Che
NBC

WATCH: Lil Kim Blasts K. Michelle & Nicki Minaj

Lil Kim
Power 105

Rosie O'Donnell And Whoopi Goldberg Get Into A HUGE Fight On 'The View'

Rosie Whoopi
Getty

Jaden Smith Releases A Seven-Minute Song About Coachella

Jaden
SoundCloud

Beyonce Is White Hot In A Bikini

Beyonce2
Beyonce.com

Tracy Morgan: 'I Can't Believe Walmart Is Blaming Me'

Tracy Morgan
Bennett Raglin/BET via Getty Images

WATCH: Nas' New Documentary 'Time Is Illmatic'

Nas Time Is Illmatic
Tribeca Film Festival

The Real-Life 'Olivia Pope' Got Pranked By George H.W. Bush

Judy Smith Bush
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WATCH: Girlfriend Intervention Show Dismantled In 5 Minute Spoof

Phoebe Robinson
Phoebe Robinson YouTube

The 18 Style Hacks That Every Dapper Man Must Know

Blazer
gettystock

Anita Baker's Lawyer Says Singer Owes Him Over $50K

Anita Baker
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kenny Leon Set To Direct Another Broadway Classic

Kenny Leon
Jim Spellman via Getty Images

Kim Kardashian And North West Wear Matching Sheer Outfits In Paris

Kim Kardashian North West
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff via Getty Images

'Law & Order: SVU' Takes On This Year's Biggest Celebrity Elevator Scandals

Svu
NBC

Listen to Aretha Franklin Cover Adele's 'Rolling In The Deep'

Aretha Franklin
Vevo

'I Gave Up Sex As A Man In Hollywood'

Own Help Desk Devon Franklin
OWN

Beyoncé Had A Wardrobe Malfunction During Jay Z Performance

Beyonce
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

TV Writer Explains Why 'Post-Racial' Is A 'Facade' In Scripted Television

Scandal Kerry Washington
ABC

What Sweeping Floors After His NFL Career Taught Terry Crews About Pride

Terry Crews
Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Why Denzel Washington May Be The Last Pure Movie Star

Denzel Washington
DyD Fotografos/Geisler-Fotopress/DPA

Landon Dais & Kwame Smalls: Reality Stars Get Real By Running for Political Office

Comments (9)


To date, no black reality television star has scored a win in any political race.

But that hasn't stopped a few from trying to capitalize -- politically -- on what is widely believed to be their 15 minutes of fame.

Since starring on the first season of MTV's 'Real World,' former Vibe magazine writer Kevin Powell has had two unsuccessful runs for New York's 10th Congressional District seat. Powell remains undeterred and has plans to run a third time in 2010.

Meanwhile, 'Apprentice' winner and Rhodes Scholar Dr. Randal Pinkett is rumored to be on incumbent New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's short list for Lieutenant Governor. Pinkett, an MIT and Rutgers University graduate, would be the first African American to run statewide as a major-party candidate in the history of New Jersey.

Now, two very different reality television stars --(l-r) Landon Dais and Kwame Smalls --are vying for New York City Council seats.



Mel B Pictures

    In this photo provided by Kraft Foods, Spice Girl "Mel B" poses for a photo wearing a T-shirt she designed based on the classic pink ribbon used for breast cancer awareness, after a fashion show and launch of "Pose for the Cure" web site to help Kraft Foods raise money for the 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure' fight against breast cancer in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. The shirt is for sale on the web site and the net proceeds will benefit the foundation. (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, Ray Stubblebine) **NO SALES**

    AP

    In this photo provided by Kraft Foods, Spice Girl "Mel B" poses for a photo wearing a T-shirt she designed based on the classic pink ribbon used for breast cancer awareness, after a fashion show and launch of "Pose for the Cure" web site to help Kraft Foods raise money for the 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure' fight against breast cancer in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. The shirt is for sale on the web site and the net proceeds will benefit the foundation. (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, Ray Stubblebine) **NO SALES**

    AP

    In this undated image released by Oxfam Tuesday Sept. 23, 2008, British singer Mel B participates in the 'In My Name' global campaign calling for action against poverty and demanding world leaders keep their promises on millennium development goals. (AP Photo/Oxfam, HO) ** NO SALES **

    AP

    In this photo provided by Kraft Foods, Spice Girl Mel B, left, serves as the emcee at a fashion show and launch of "Pose for the Cure" web site to help Kraft Foods raise money for the 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure' fight against breast cancer in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. Mel B wears a T-shirt she designed based on the classic pink ribbon used for breast cancer awareness. The shirt is for sale on the web site and the net proceeds will benefit the foundation. The woman at right is unidentified. (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, Ray Stubblebine) **NO SALES**

    AP

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: TV personality and designer Khloe Kardashian and Olympic-level swimmer and model Amanda Beard (R) pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Ultimo Scottish designer lingerie brand founder Michelle Mone (L) and pop singer Melanie Brown pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown poses backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown and Olympic-level swimmer and model Amanda Beard (R) pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown and singer Aubrey O'Day (R) poses backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown, Olympic-level swimmer and model Amanda Beard, singer Aubrey O'Day and TV personality and designer Khloe Kardashian pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

New York native Landon Dais joined the cast of BET's 'Harlem Heights' to further his political aspirations. The son of a political activist, Dais says would have run for New York City Council District 9 in Harlem regardless of whether he was on TV.

"I was very weary of joining the reality show," Dais confided. "In today's society, television executives believe the only way to get high ratings is through drama and enhancing the negative about people."

The Morehouse College graduate says his desire to be a positive role model and to "influence one kid to go to college" led to his decision to join the cast of 'Harlem Heights.' And though some Harlemites initially questioned his motives for running for office, "once they saw me walking the streets of Harlem at all times of the night, talking to the youth, they realized I was a legitimate candidate who really cared about the people of Harlem," he chuckles.

For Dais, becoming a quasi-celebrity has helped him win recognition in the community. Though he is second in the polls, he still believes going door to door and meeting people in his community has given him a real shot at winning.

"The young people gravitate towards me, and the older people in the community see that I am the only viable candidate who can get the young people to care about the political process. This has caused a lot of older people to support my efforts."

And then, there is Smalls.

This 'I Love New York 2' contestant is running for a New York City Council seat. Given his on-air persona, he's had a tougher time getting the people to take him seriously.

"People may not take me seriously, [but it is] also good because people don't see me as a threat," he told BV Newswire this week. When probed about his educational background, the jovial contender offered: "Let's just say, like Kanye West, I'm a college dropout. I learned that I didn't have to have a political education to run for city council."

In fact, his decision to run for office came after the reunion special for 'I Love Money 2,' another VH1 reality show, in which Smalls (also known as "It") was reunited with his 'I Love New York 2' competition, George 'Tailor Made' Weisgerber.

Weisgerber, who won Miss New York's love on the show, is now Smalls' campaign manager. The two have spent the last several weeks canvassing the district for signatures to get on the ballot.

"Yes, I'm a beautiful speaker. I'm an actor," Smalls explained. "I study the techniques of Malcolm X, following his speeches, and I love it!"

Although Smalls thinks he can win, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth -- a former White House staffer and 'Apprentice' star -- has some disappointing news: "You need a ton of money and a political mastermind [to win an election], and reality television stars don't have access to capital."

Dais agrees, but if these reality stars can prove the naysayers wrong what a story that will make, or perhaps provide fodder for another reality television show on life after winning

Manigault-Stallworth, who has appeared in over 20 reality television shows, continues to work in politics however; the 'Bitch Switch' author works as a fundraiser and believes her television persona has worked to her advantage, helping her become a "much more effective political operative."

Yet, Donald Trump's most famous reality TV protege will admit that running for, and winning, a political office is difficult. "I have not seen it done well, quite frankly," she added. "Being famous does not always translate into being an effective politician."

Her advice? "They need to hire me to be their campaign manager," she recommended. "I'm the missing key to their success."

The Democratic primary election for New York City Council takes place Sept. 15 for both Dais and Smalls.

Interested parties can find out more about Dais' campaign at www.LandonDais.com. Smalls, on the other hand, wishes for his supporters to check out his YouTube video.




Comments: (9)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 1

Add a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed but they are required to confirm your comments. When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password."