A discussion with Paula Bradshaw, Green Party candidate for Illinois’ 12th congressional district
On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from our first Green Party candidate of the election: Paula Bradshaw, a nurse, who is running for Illinois’ 12th congressional district.
Bradshaw ran for the same seat in 2014, but was defeated by Mike Bost [R]. She also ran in 2012. In both elections, she garnered nearly six percent of the vote.
This could be significant because the 12th district has flipped from Democrat to Republican majority in recent years. Bost is running as the Republican candidate. C.J. Baricevic is running on the Democratic ticket. We'll hear from them on the program next week.
Bradshaw said that the Green Party has significant challenges to face in entering national, and local, political races.
"The whole system is rigged against third parties," Bradshaw said. "There's an access problem. In Illinois we have some of the most restrictive ballot laws where corporate parties only have to get a few thousand and we have to get 25,000. Then, there's the lack of media access. And I believe I'm the only Green in the country that was allowed in the debate."
In local issues, Bradshaw talked specifically about ways to grow the economy. She said her Democratic and Republican opponents have made promises of bringing back United Mine Workers and revitalizing the coal industry, which she believe is impossible.
"We advocate the Green New Deal, which is based on FDR's New Deal of the '30s, which put eight million people to work in six months," Bradshaw said. "They brought rural electricity, planted the trees in Shawnee forest, planted trees in Oklahoma to stop the dust bowl. Public works projects. This country, the infrastructure is falling apart. We need to have renewable energy become available to every citizen. We need to renew our environment."
Many of her policies are similar to Democratic policies of the '30s and '40s, Bradshaw said.
"It's so bizarre that when you talk about it now, Democrats go 'Oh, we can't have that, that's not feasible'... what do you mean? We did it before," Bradshaw said.
You can read more about Bradshaw’s platforms and positions on certain issues, like health insurance, environmental policies and more here.
While St. Louis on the Air has not featured third party candidates on the program during this election cycle, we thought Bradshaw’s presence in the race for Illinois’ 12th congressional district is significant.
Listen to our full interview with Bradshaw here:
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