Nashville, Tenn. (Oct. 27, 2020) — The campaign to elect Marquita Bradshaw as Tennessee’s next U.S. Senator today released a mini documentary video and launched accompanying TV ads in major markets across the state.
Filmed and produced entirely by a volunteer team of Nashville artists led by comedian John Early, the video starts at the Women’s March in Nashville, and documents Bradshaw’s stops in Memphis, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Philadelphia, capturing both the natural beauty of the state and Marquita’s tireless efforts to reach disenfranchised Tennesseans. Three versions of the video are available to view on YouTube.
To date, Bradshaw has been running a purely grassroots campaign, winning the Democratic primary in August against a well-funded opponent with no TV ads. As momentum for her campaign has grown, fundraising efforts are now at a level to support both TV and digital ads statewide with the average campaign donation still less than $30.
“We are proof that a people-powered campaign can do big things,” Bradshaw said of the mini documentary and statewide media buy. “This video, which captures my story and my purpose, was made possible by the generous support of volunteers, and I’m so grateful for their help in getting my message out. I hope that hardworking Tennesseans see themselves in this video, because we all want the same things: wages we can live on, good schools for our kids, and communities that are safe and healthy.”
Early, a Nashville native, became a devoted fan of Bradshaw’s when news of her primary victory reached him in Los Angeles. Inspired by her grassroots organizing, Early recently hosted a virtual campaign fundraiser with guests including Amy Schumer, Johnny Knoxville, Connie Britton, and Sarah Silverman, which raised over $43,000.
“I grew up in Nashville and I have never seen Tennessee put forward a candidate like Marquita, who actually listens to the needs of long abandoned working people in every single county,” Early said. “It was a very profound experience to follow her on the campaign trail and be in the presence of a true public servant. She had me crying in a DoubleTree lobby telling me about a housekeeper who donates two dollars a week to her campaign. She is uniting Tennesseans around a common message of human decency, but not through empty platitudes. She’s doing it through actual redistributive policies and a commitment to meeting people’s material needs. I’m head over heels in love with Marquita and I hope that comes across in the video!”
Tennessee has seen record Democratic turnout during early voting, which wraps up on Thursday. While Tennessee has historically ranked near the bottom nationally for voter registration and turnout, the state is currently on pace to have the largest voter turnout in state history. Since the 2018 midterm election, nearly 1 million Tennesseans have registered to vote or renewed their registration, and more than 20 percent of those new voters have already cast their ballot in this election. A campaign analysis also shows more Democrats have already turned out for early vote than in 2016 or 2018.