Former House Rep. Bakari Sellers joins CNN as contributor

Former state Rep. and candidate for lieutenant governor Bakari Sellers has become part of CNN’s contributing team.

COLUMBIA — Long rumored to be in the hunt for higher office — Congress or the governor’s office — former state Rep. Bakari Sellers has landed a gig with CNN as a commentator on race, politics and legal matters.

Despite giving up his seat to run for lieutenant governor last year, Sellers has stayed in the public eye. He appeared regularly on cable news after the Walter Scott shooting, and became part of CNN’s contributing team in the past month.

“I think it’s pretty cool that a kid from Denmark, South Carolina, and a graduate of the South Carolina public school system gets to share his opinions and views with the world on CNN,” Sellers said. “It continues to give me a voice on all issues that not just affect South Carolina, but affect the country.”

Sellers has been featured in Time Magazine and Politico. He is the son of civil rights activist Cleveland Sellers, who was wounded in the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968 in which three South Carolina State University students were killed and 27 injured in a clash with Highway Patrol officers during a protest over a segregated bowling alley.

An attorney, Sellers made history as the youngest African-American elected to office at 22. He served as a House member from 2006 to 2014. He sought to make history again in 2014, when he mounted an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor.

Last year, he brushed off rumors that he was seeking a potential appointment to a national office and countered with his turning down an offer for a position with President Barack Obama’s administration in 2008 because “it’s not where I wanted to be.”

When asked about his aspirations on Tuesday, he said he wasn’t sure where his political future would take him.

Reach Cynthia Roldan at 708-5891.