Bradshaw raises $893K since surprise win in Democratic Senate primary

Memphis environmental activist Marquita Bradshaw, the surprise winner of the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate despite spending just $22,300 on her primary campaign, raised $893,000 in the third quarter.

Bradshaw is the first African-American woman to win a statewide primary in Tennessee. Her campaign said she has received more than 23,000 contributions, averaging $24.12.

“Our campaign isn’t funded by millionaires and billionaires, but by hardworking Tennesseans,” campaign manager Ken Taylor said in a release. “So, our total raised may still be just a fraction of what our opponent has already spent, but a single mom knows how to make a dollar stretch in a way a rich man simply doesn’t.”

Bradshaw faces Republican Bill Hagerty in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville).

UPDATE: The Hagerty camp says he raised $1.26 million in the quarter.

(This post has been updated to reflect Bradshaw’s fundraising totals for the third quarter, and Hagerty’s since the Aug. 6 election).

Here’s the full release from the Bradshaw campaign.

October 15, 2020) — The Marquita Bradshaw for U.S. Senate campaign continues to gain momentum with the total raised from contributors now nearing $1 million — a long way from the $22,320 raised before her upset victory in the Democratic primary. 

The financial disclosure due today will show that at the end of the third quarter, the campaign had raised a total of $915,420.85 since the beginning of the race. As of Sept. 30, the campaign had $632,163.58 cash on hand available to spend.

Bradshaw’s fundraising numbers are a sign of the campaign’s growing grassroots base of supporters from across the state. More than 23,000 individual contributions were made in the most recent reporting period alone, and the average contribution to the campaign is just $24.12. Bradshaw’s message about representing working people in Washington is drawing support from a wide cross-section of voters.  

“Our campaign isn’t funded by millionaires and billionaires, but by hardworking Tennesseans. So, our total raised may still be just a fraction of what our opponent has already spent, but a single mom knows how to make a dollar stretch in a way a rich man simply doesn’t,” said Ken Taylor, Bradshaw’s campaign manager. “Tennesseans are ready to have a leader in Washington who has lived their same struggles and will make our government work for them. This is not just a campaign, this is a movement. On Nov. 3, Marquita is going to once again prove that her opponent can’t buy the election when the power of the people are on her side.”  

The campaign is investing its resources into an aggressive field operation with close to 100,000 voters contacts every day. In just the last week, the campaign has opened seven offices across the state and received key endorsements from U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s PAC, Courage to Change, and held a virtual fundraising event with former presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg. On Tuesday next week, a telethon-style fundraiser hosted by Third Man Records will feature performances by more than 50 musicians and artists.

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