Can 'Real World' Star Make It in Real-Life Politics?

Granted, it's been 16 years since Powell, now 42, told his roommates he almost fled "The Real World" early because he thought they were so weird, and he's been largely out of the public eye since season one went off the air.

But Jon Murray, the show's executive producer, thinks Powell has what it takes to be a congressman, regardless of the fact that he spent more time in the "Real World" digs than in any public office.

"All of us at Bunim/Murray Productions are very proud of Kevin's accomplishments since being on 'The Real World' over 15 years ago. He was always a very smart, very articulate guy; so his decision to run for Congress is not surprising," Murray said in a statement to ABCNews.com.

His supporters extend beyond Hollywood. Powell has lured big names from Brooklyn's 10th district, which overwhelmingly supported Barrack Obama in New York's presidential primary, while much of the state went to Hillary Clinton.

Powell scored the backing of Jordan Thomas, who led the organization Brooklyn for Barack, and Arthur Leopold, an Obama campaign fundraiser. He also won support from local organizations, including Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats.

"He always says what he feels and he always says it in a clear way," said John Loscalzo, who runs the blog BrooklynHeightsBlog.com. "His activism is enough of a qualification. It's about him getting his name out there and getting his message out. He's going to need the kids. If Kevin's able to harness that passion of the younger demographic, then he's got a shot.

"He's not Gopher from 'Love Boat' running for Congress," Loscalzo added, talking about actor Fred Grandy, who served as an Iowa representative for four terms. "I mean Gopher actually ended up being a good congressman, but still."

Powell's opponent, 13-term Rep. Edolphus "Ed" Towns, nearly lost the Democratic nomination in 2006, and now he's come under criticism for supporting Clinton in the presidential primaries. According to New York political strategist Hank Sheinkopf, he also represents an older, stodgier Brooklyn, while Powell's got that youthful Obama allure.

Towns was unavailable to comment for this story.

"Towns is at risk because of the demographic changes of that district," said Sheinkopf, who served as a strategic advisor to the campaigns of New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and Comptroller William C. Thompson. "They've gotten younger and whiter; his constituency is older and deader. Towns is in his 70s, Kevin Powell's much younger. But Towns can raise the money -- can Kevin? Can he communicate with voters? Those are big questions."

Questions that will be answered when Brooklyn's 10th district votes in primary elections this September. If Powell doesn't win there, look for his name on another ballot.

"I would not mind running for Senate, I would not mind running for mayor of New York one day," he said. "As for president ... we'll let Barack Obama do his thing first."

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