Marquita Bradshaw Seeks To Make History As Tennessee’s First Black U.S. Senator

U.S. Senate Candidate Marquita Bradshaw

U.S. Senate Candidate Marquita Bradshaw

Dylan K. Little, Editor-In-Chief

Marquita Bradshaw is running to become a U.S Senator representing Tennessee. She is running on a progressive platform which includes Medicare for All, Community policing, restorative justice, DACA and the Green New Deal. The Democratic challenger is hoping to defeat the republican challenger Bill Hagerty.

Ms. Bradshaw is a Tennessee native born in Memphis on February 19, 1974. She attended the university of Memphis where she attained a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Journalism. Bradshaw has worked tirelessly to make her community better. For instance, she has done volunteer and community work for the following: Tennessee African American Environmental Justice Network, Youth Terminating Pollution where she served as the founding member and Tennesseans for Fair Taxation. Bradshaw has additionally served as a board member for various projects and clubs such as: The Environmental Justice Chair for Sierra Club’s Tennessee Chapter,  International Coalition to Ban Depleted Uranium Weapons, the African American Environmental Justice Network, the, Military Toxics Project,  Youth Terminating Pollution and on the  Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. Lastly, Bradshaw has won several awards such as: the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s Human Rights Award, the Sierra Clubs Dick Mochow Environmental Justice Award and a Vox student award.

Ms. Bradshaw is ready and extremely qualified to become Tennessee’s U.S. Senator.  But are the citizens of Tennessee ready for bold, progressive change? An unfortunate reality of the Bradshaw campaign is that it appears that the Democratic National Committee, an organization that often believes that only certain candidates can realistically flip Senate seats and seems to neglect southern states. It is extremely peculiar and disheartening that the DNC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, or DSCC, which serves as the official national Democratic campaign dedicated solely to electing Democrats to the United States Senate, have not chosen to invest, or at least invest heavily in African American campaigns. The only exception is perhaps Jamie Harrison’s campaign in South Carolina which, in the early stages of the campaign, were not as advertised or funded as they are now. The only difference from then and now is that Harrison has been able to do consistently well in the polls through grassroots organization and immense crowd funding.

Ms. Bradshaw has been an unfortunate victim of the DSCC’s neglectful system. The polling numbers for Ms. Bradshaw are not where it could be, as most polls have the Republican challenger Hagerty leading by landslide margins. While the polling numbers could be attributed to the presumed largely conservative Tennessee constituency which is in stark contrast with Bradshaw’s progressive and Democratic platform. Still, one must consider how this senatorial race and other races with Democratic candidates — Mike Espy in Mississippi, Adrian Perkins in Louisiana, Raphael Warnock in Georgia and Jamie Harrison in South Carolina, etc. — would have fared with greater advertisement, funding and overall support from the DSCC, especially early on.   This cannot be truer for Ms. Bradshaw, who actually beat the DSCC’s chosen candidate who had a sizeable war chest in a remarkable upset by using grassroots efforts. The Democratic Party continues to shoot itself in the foot by not investing in these truly representative campaigns which could produce a Democratic stronghold over the Senate for years or even decades to come. One thing is clear however: if Bradshaw is not elected to the U.S. Senate, our country will be missing out on a qualified, impassioned and progressive candidate who would undoubtedly help improve this country. Come through Tennessee!