By Sierra Baker
As 2015 draws to a close and 2016 slowly begins, politics are hot and ready for Missouri elections, and well-known Springfieldian Brad Bradshaw is joining the race for Lt. Governor.
Bradshaw, best known around town as a trained physician, surgeon and lawyer, said he has been considering a run for many years. He will run as a Democrat, and he said his legal background would benefit him in office.
“Although I am running as a Democrat, I am first and foremost an American, and second of all a Missourian,” Bradshaw said.
The Lt. Governor is the second highest elected official and holds a great deal of influence on the state. According to the official web site for current Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, the responsibilities for this elected official include assuming the powers and duties of the Governor when the Governor is absent from the state or unable to serve. In addition, the lieutenant governor is also the president of the Missouri Senate and gets to cast the deciding vote whenever there is a tie on an issue.
Bradshaw said he feels the lt. governor position has been used as a ceremonial post for those hoping to rise to higher office and that he plans to change this if elected. Bradshaw said he plans to promote healthcare, economic growth, new jobs, education, and eventually he hopes to lower taxes.
“I have had a strong desire for more medical research performed in the state of Missouri,” Bradshaw said. “Missouri is centrally located in the country and therefore a perfect location for medical research.”
Bradshaw said he wants to focus medical research on incurable diseases such as various cancers, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, MS, some types of paralysis, and many other medical issues. Bradshaw pointed out that Missouri has many impressive medical schools and believes research will not only help Missouri patients, but would also benefit universities.
Bradshaw already faces a few competitors in the election, including Sikeston-area Republican Bev Randles and St. Louis-area Democrat Tommie Pierson. However, reports suggest Kinder has dropped out of the race and is currently running for governor.
Candidates for lt. governor can officially register between Feb. 23-March 29, 2016. The primary election will be Aug. 2, 2016, and the general election will be Nov. 8, 2016, so there are likely still many surprises and changes to come.
Marcus Leach, Bradshaw’s right-hand man in the campaign, said the campaign is a team effort and that the Bradshaw team is in it for the long haul.
“If one part is missing or weak, it all falls apart,” Leach said, “there are a lot of ups and downs on a campaign, and it’s important to remember they are marathons, and not sprints.”