by Elizabeth Hewitt
As Brad Peacock watched Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run, he was struck by the Vermont Independent’s call for young people to “stand up and make a difference.”
“So I took his words to heart and decided that that is what I was going to do,” Peacock said in an interview in June.
This year, Peacock is a first-time political candidate. And the office he’s seeking is currently held by Sanders.
The 38-year-old vegetable farmer supports many of the same positions as Vermont’s junior senator, a national leader of the progressive movement.
“The nuance of this is I agree with a lot of the things he’s doing and I do admire his positions on a lot of things,” Peacock said in an interview. “But I also believe that there’s a time for the next generation to pick up the torch and carry on.”
As most party candidates are in the final push of their campaigns before the Aug. 14 Vermont primaries, Peacock is prepping to kick his campaign into high gear and get his name out there.
Peacock, who as an independent candidate is not contesting any primary races, is setting up a listening tour around the state. He’s increasingly doing “pop up” campaign events, which involve going to towns around the state and pounding the pavement to introduce himself to pedestrians and local business owners.
Sanders is following his longtime practice of running in the Democratic primary, then, should he win, he will decline the nomination and run as an independent in November.
In the next few weeks, Peacock plans to issue a challenge to his opponents: a limit on the amount of money each candidate can spend.
Peacock noted that campaign finance reform is a major concern for both him and Sanders. Agreeing to a spending cap would set the stage for a fair race, he said.
“Sen. Sanders and I have a really great opportunity to run a clean, issues-focused campaign,” Peacock said.
A spending limit may take a step toward leveling the playing field for Peacock against Sanders, who, as of the last reporting deadline had a total of $7.6 million in his campaign coffers— well ahead of any other Vermont politician.
Still, Peacock faces a massive challenge to get his name out there as an alternative to Sanders, who consistently ranks as the country’s most popular senator among his home-state constituency. Continue Reading article here