This article by Cherise Madigan originally appeared Jan. 7 in the Bennington Banner.
MANCHESTER — Brad Peacock has served his country once, and on Sunday the Shaftsbury farmer announced that he hopes to do so once again — this time in the United States Senate.
Running on an independent ticket, Peacock is vying for the seat currently held by 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Still, Peacock views his candidacy as a continuation of Sanders’ legacy rather than a challenge to it, hoping that the senator will once again aim for the Oval Office in 2020.
In the hour-long speech outlining his platform, Peacock, who is seeking political office for the first time, used personal experience to illustrate his positions on poverty, health care, climate change and civil rights. Throughout his address, the candidate emphasized community reliance and connection in the face of adversity.
“I speak to you now as a young Vermont farmer with a story to tell,” said Peacock, an employee of Shaftsbury’s Clear Brook Farm. “I am here to be vulnerable, and to speak truth to power.”
Peacock decried what he describes as a Republican attack on “our most vulnerable” citizens, including seniors, children, and the poor. That attack becomes even more troubling, he says, in the face of “corporate welfare” including tax breaks and loopholes for corporations and the wealthy.
The candidate cited the recently passed republican tax plan as a prime example, and voiced his desire to eliminate those corporate tax breaks.
“What loyalty did corporations show to small town America when they globalized and started closing down factories and mills, abandoning entire communities to ship our jobs overseas? Did corporations care about the people when they came in and polluted our land, air and waterways?” he asked. “Just look at North Bennington and Hoosick Falls, and the chemicals that corporations leaked into our groundwater and environment.”
The candidate also voiced his support for a $15 minimum wage. Having benefited from programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in his youth, the candidate views these programs as an investment in local communities.
Read full article at the Bennington Banner.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)