The Left Strikes Back: Marquita Bradshaw Triumphs in Tennessee U.S. Senate Primary

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Marquita Bradshaw, left, screenshot from WMC TV 5.

I actually cannot believe I’m writing this article. I feel like that’s the most acceptable way to intro this.

Last night, Tennessee had its non-presidential primaries (Primaries for U.S. House, Senate, State House, State Senate). When I had first checked the results, about an hour after 7:00 PM poll closings, the four progressive candidates in the house found themselves in pretty deep deficits.

The Night was looking bleak for the Left. Then I looked at the senate… It took a minute. I needed a double-take. But after staring at my computer screen, confused, for thirty seconds, I realized my eyes weren’t lying to me. DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) endorsed underdog, Marquita Bradshaw, was leading the race to be the Democratic Senate nominee from Tennessee.

So who is Marquita Bradshaw? And what’s the big deal about her?

Marquita Bradshaw is an environmental activist, labor organizer, and a self-proclaimed ‘Memphian’. She is a volunteer and organizer by trade, doing work with the AFL-CIO, the Black Trade Unionists and the African-American Environmental Justice Network, while being a committee member for the Sierra’s Club and founding an organization called the Youth Terminating Pollution.

In this election cycle, Bradshaw’s Campaign spent under $10,000 on her senate election.

Her opponent, DSCC backed and establishment favorite, James Mackler, spent $1,506,474 during the same period. Safe to say, this wasn’t an even playing field.

AOC was outspent by Joe Crowley 10 to 1. Former Kentucky Senate candidate Charles Booker was outspent 40 to 1. Marquita Bradshaw was outspent by 250 to 1.

To sum all of this up, she is a tank for the left. She is the type of activist who can carry the whole team on her back. And last night she faced incredible odds, traveled tough terrain and still found her way to the mountaintop.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Marquita Bradshaw is the winner, securing 117,345 votes, good enough for 35.5% of the vote.

Following behind in 2nd place with 87,846 votes is Robin Kimbrough, good enough for 26.6% of the vote.

All the way in third place is DSCC-backed candidate, James Mackler who received 78,568 votes, which was enough to secure 23.8% of the vote.

The rest of the vote was split between Gary Davis (9.3%) and Mark Pickrell (4.8%), respectively.

Bradshaw’s victory is not only a sign of the anti-establishment times, but it is also a testament to a new philosophy of politics, one that say it’s not about the money you raise, it’s about the people you organize.

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