Tuesday, September 13, 2005


September 2, 2005 - The Hoya - Former Hoya Runs for Office in Tenn.

Former Hoya Runs for Office in Tenn.
By Brenna McGee
Hoya Staff Writer
Friday, September 2, 2005; Page B6

Former Georgetown men’s basketball player Omari Faulkner (COL ’04) was defeated in the August Democratic primary for a seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Faulkner, 23, was one of four candidates in the special election for the vacant seat in District 87. He finished last in the August 4 election with 15.5 percent of the vote. Gary L. Rowe, a businessman and longtime minority business promoter in Shelby County, won the election with 40.8 percent. Rowe is expected to carry the general election in September.

The election, held to fill the seat vacated when Kathryn Bowers (D) was elected to the state Senate earlier this year, saw incredibly low voter turnout. With fewer than 1,000 voters participating out of the approximately 33,000 in the district, only 200 votes separated Rowe and Faulkner.

Also contending for the seat were Andrew “Rome” Withers, a photographer, and Alonzo Grant, a two-time contender for the seat when it was held by Bowers. Withers and Grant finished second and third, respectively.

Faulkner’s candidacy for the vacant House seat was his first venture into the political arena. Although he fared poorly in the voting, the Memphis Commercial Appeal recognized Faulkner as having “strong potential for elected office in the future.” He was also endorsed by the Memphis Education Association and the Memphis Area Association of Realtors.

A native of Memphis, Faulkner is currently a district sales manager for Frito-Lay. After graduating from Georgetown, Faulkner spent six months traveling abroad as a cultural envoy with the State Department’s CultureConnect program. Along with former Hoya teammate Courtland Freeman (COL ’04), Faulkner visited more than 20 countries in eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America to conduct basketball clinics and promote American culture. While abroad with the program, Faulkner told The New Straits Times Press in Malaysia that he planned to return to school to get a master’s degree in public policy once he was done with basketball.

A basketball star at Hamilton High School in Memphis, Faulkner was recruited to Georgetown on a full scholarship. While at Georgetown he was awarded the Raymond Medley Model Student Athlete Award and was a two-time recipient of the Mary Fenlon Scholar Athlete Award. On the court, Faulkner played in 46 contests while averaging 0.6 points per game.

Faulkner could not be reached for comment.


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