Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Brandaun Dean formally qualified with the Alabama Democratic Party on Friday, Jan. 28. Dean told 1819 News that he is “Alabama’s youngest, most anti-poverty, and pro-Black agenda candidate in American history.”

The former mayor of Brighton said, “My hope is for an honest opportunity to be seen in my humanity and integrity. I’m doubtful based on the violent political history of this state but I have to have hope.

“Alabama will have its youngest, most anti-poverty, and pro-Black agenda candidate in American history if they will get into this movement with curiosity and a willingness to use their imagination."

Dean said that his campaign, to this point, has not been embraced by either the Democratic establishment in Alabama or the big-money donors.

“The Alabama Democratic Party has been indifferent and unenthusiastic about the opportunity to secure this seat for the Black collective through intellectual politics,” Dean said. “That to me is a tragic location to begin this extraordinary pursuit.”

Dean had requested that the Alabama Democratic Party waive the qualifying fee, citing his inability to pay and that it would be a personal hardship. 

That request was denied, but the plight of Dean’s campaign was resolved when supporters in the community came forward at the last minute.

“In the last week of qualifying, after the labor of gaining national attention proved not enough to secure the full $3,480 qualifying fee, a Black woman elder who heard my public appeal secured 13 individual donations to secure my spot on the May 24th ballot,” Dean said, thanking them for their support.

While Dean had been the only Democrat campaigning for the Senate for months, three other candidates did qualify on Friday as well. Dean said that his campaign, however, has a head start on those candidates.

“I am convinced that in this primary and in the general election we have been blessed with the higher word amongst all the candidates,” Dean said.

Dean’s political career appeared to be over when a judge ordered a new mayoral election in Brighton. A crushed Dean did not even qualify for the special election after the results of his election were overturned after just a year in office.

“I’ve spent the years since I left Brighton struggling to make sense of the particular crisis that afflict[s] our communities and consequently those who are called to lead them,” Dean said. “Through homelessness, exile and my own experiences with police violence, I’ve cultivated a clear message and understanding of the way forward for humanity.”

Dean said, “Voters in the territory finally have something real to cast a ballot for. There was no doubt in my mind that this was the moment to enter the arena and let the people of this territory know exactly who I am. “

“I look forward to making my case in all the places there are voters to clean up in the primary and flip this red seat in favor of the poor, the unhoused, the addicted, the prisoner and those who dare to have hope,” Dean said.

Dean said that he was excited by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement and the announcement by President Joe Biden (D) that he will appoint a Black woman to replace Breyer.

“Though unexpected, I’m especially excited to start this campaign with alerting the White House that Alabama and Mississippi offer the best in class of Black women judges to fill the upcoming high court vacancy,” Dean said. “My small team and I are currently reviewing the legal work of Mississippi Chief Judge Debra Brown as well as 10th Circuit Civil judges Annetta Verin and Tamara Harris-Johnson. I think any of the three would be remarkable nominees.”

Florence Pastor Dr. Will Boyd, Victor Keith Williams, and Lanny Jackson are also running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

The Democratic Party primary is on May 24.

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