Southern University has some notable graduates, but few of those individuals made a name for themselves while they were still attending Southern University. One of the youngest to ever run for State Representative at twenty years old, Ken’Travius “Trey” Coleman is a current student at Southern University who is seeking election as a Democrat in the State’s 26th District for the House of Representatives.
The 26th congressional district is located in Coleman’s hometown of Alexandria, Louisiana. Up until now, Coleman had been very active in the Alexandria community through various community service and outreach projects he had been participating in and hopes that by running, he can help influence the way his community is shaped by being the example for the next generation, “I wanted to run to help more people and make the difference in my generation that we need…[so] why not step up and be a productive leader?”
If elected, Coleman would become the youngest individual to ever hold office in Congress, so many wonder if he has the qualifications and the experience necessary to be an effective Representative. Coleman notes that while this may be true, he’s wanted to hold office for some time now and has prepared accordingly, “I remember in eighth grade, I told my people that I was going to run for President, and they laughed. I was serious then and I’m serious now. I refuse to let anyone or anything stop me from doing what I want to do.” Coleman is currently majoring in political science and has worked within the local government under mayor and the former district representative, Jeff Hall, and is currently working within the democratic caucus, so while it’s obvious that Coleman lacks the experience of other candidates, he is still intimately familiar with the role and responsibilities of a state representative.
Being perceived as young and experienced, Coleman has had to hurdle many obstacles. One of which being the fact that he is still a student. The classroom doesn’t wait for anyone and assignments are still required to be turned in even after the long days and nights of traveling back and forth, two hours away to Alexandria and two hours back to Baton Rouge, in order to campaign and promote himself, “There comes days where I have to shut down because I tend to push myself too hard. I might forget to eat or I may not go to sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning. It all takes a toll on my body, but this is what I signed up for. I enjoy the process, both the good and the bad.”
The primary election for the democrats is slated for October 12 and sees Coleman and a Sandra Franklin running against the incumbent and graduate of Southern University and the Southern University Law Center, Ed Larvadain III, who was just recently elected earlier in the year in a special election after Alexandria mayor, Jeff Hall, vacated the seat.