After taking the stage in Nashville for the final presidential debate last week, former Vice President Joe Biden is lending his support to the state’s Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, Marquita Bradshaw.
Bradshaw is running against Republican Bill Hagerty for the seat. Hagerty has received an endorsement from President Donald Trump.
“Marquita is a proven leader who will fight for the needs of working families — needs she understands because she’s faced the same struggles they have. I am proud to endorse Marquita’s candidacy for U.S. Senate,” Biden said.
Bradshaw is a working-class single mom from Memphis who has dedicated her life to advocating for environmental justice, workers’ rights, education reform, tax reform and trade policies that help local communities. She won the Democratic primary with a surge of grassroots support against a well-funded opponent with only $22,000 in her campaign budget.
Bradshaw’s people-powered campaign is now rewriting the political playbook in Tennessee with the state on pace to have its largest voter turnout in history. With another week of early voting still to go, more Democrats have already voted early in this election than in 2018 or 2016. Bradshaw’s campaign is proving that Tennessee is not a “red state,” but instead, a low-turnout state — a historic trend that this election is changing with nearly 1 million new active voters since 2018.
Bradshaw became an advocate for environmental justice after growing up near a military landfill that poisoned her community with the remains of chemical agents and nuclear weapons. Her volunteer advocacy efforts led her to a career as a paid organizer for labor rights. Like many Americans, she faced job loss and foreclosure during the Great Recession in 2008.
“I know what it’s like to be living one paycheck away from poverty and to feel the crushing weight of student loan debt and medical bills while trying to care for your family,” Bradshaw said. “There is so much divisiveness in this country, but at the end of the day, we all want the same things — wages we can live on, good schools for our kids and communities that are safe and healthy. I look forward to working as a senator with the Biden administration to accomplish this vision for our country together.”
In just the last few weeks, the campaign has opened seven offices across the state and received key endorsements from U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Courage to Change PAC and held a virtual fundraising event with former presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg. On Oct. 20, a telethon-style fundraiser hosted by Third Man Records featured performances by more than 50 musicians and artists. The average donation to Bradshaw’s campaign is less than $25.