Brandaun Dean is the first Democrat to run for the US Senate


Former Brighton Mayor Brandaun Dean is running for the US Senate as a Democrat. He is the first Democratic Party candidate to announce his candidacy for the 2022 Senate race.

Dean spoke with APR on his candidacy. Dean said his campaign had been largely “ignored by the Democratic Party establishment and the media,” adding: “I am disappointed that with all that is at stake and with the history of Alabama, my campaign did not attract more attention, “said the dean.

Dean said it “took him a year to recover after what the outgoing or outgoing Secretary of State did to get me away from the Alabama electorate.” Dean said he was in favor of reparations for the descendants of those once enslaved.

He is also a supporter of the “Green New Deal because repairs will be pointless if we have to live in bubbles”.

Dean said that while he enjoyed his tenure as Mayor of Brighton, many of the issues that interested him, even then, were best addressed at the state or federal level. These include legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, the state of Puerto Rico, the state of DC, tackling climate change, thriving wildlife and clean oceans and rivers.

Dean said there was some confusion about his religion.

“I was born and raised a Baptist, and I’m a Christian,” Deans said. “I am a member of the Mountain Brook Baptist Church.” Now he will worship in the mosque, and I am open to other faiths. I have Orthodox Jewish friends.

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Dean said he has been working on running for the US Senate for some time and is considering running for New York if Chuck Schumer retires. Dean said he was considering running for senator from Pennsylvania when Pat Toomey announced he was retiring.

“In the end, I brought him back to Alabama and Pennsylvania,” said Dean, who has worked and lived in Philadelphia as well as his native Alabama. “I voted in Pennsylvania in the 2020 general election, but Alabama is my home.”

“I had to take this different route to the Senate,” Dean added.

APR asked if he would not have run for the Senate if Richard Shelby had not retired. Dean denied this.

“I wanted to race against Richard Shelby,” Dean said. “I was not afraid of Richard Shelby.”

“I’ve spoken to Richard Shelby before,” added Dean. “I went to the same high school as Richard Shelby.”

Dean recently criticized some members of the black community for their over-idealization of black celebrities and athletes.

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“We’ve waited long enough for the select group of educated, well-located blacks to show up for the rest of us,” Dean said. “They don’t come because they don’t see us as valuable beyond playing menial roles. We have to put an end to the idea of ​​a celebrity and an elite class in the black world. None of these people are gods.

According to his website, Dean became the youngest mayor in the state of Alabama and the youngest African-American municipal government leader in the country when he was elected mayor of his hometown of Brighton, Alabama, on August 23, 2016, at the age of 24. If elected, Dean would be the youngest member of the US Senate. Outgoing President Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, is not running for a seventh term.

On his website, Dean cited a number of accomplishments during his brief tenure as Mayor of Brighton, including:

  • manage a municipal budget of $ 2.3 million
  • supervise five appointed officers
  • propose and pass a municipal law decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana
  • declaring Brighton a sanctuary city for immigrant families
  • increase the wages of city employees to $ 15 an hour
  • finance the reopening of the city’s only community center
  • clear public lands neglected by failed public works for more than twenty years
  • name the most diverse cohort of officers in the city’s history
  • solicit the intervention of law enforcement and local county prosecutors to review the practices of a municipal police department with ethical issues
  • initiate cost reduction and efficiency measures while offering a better quality of public safety and public works services to the city’s 2,900 citizens.

Dean said on his website that his tenure as mayor was marked by bold positions on national issues; but locally, despite little cooperation from city council, he saved employee health insurance by making a surprise appearance at a five-member insurance board hearing where he illustrated the city’s struggles but its willingness to cooperate with claims in order to avoid loss of coverage. Dean said that by working with the town’s attorney, he was also able to draft and pass a resolution that automates the payment of the town’s waste management contract, to avoid any future disruption in service.

Dean’s daring approach made him many enemies. During his first six months in office, Dean said his car was vandalized, the police unsuccessfully attempted to search the house he shared with his grandmother, and he was reported to the police. Alabama Ethics Commission for illegal use of a police car after using the vehicle to attend a world leadership conference while repairs to his vandalized personal car were underway.

After a year-long legal battle with past appointments to remove Dean from office, a Circuit Court ordered a run-off between Dean and former mayor Eddie Cooper. Dean had initially received nearly three times as many votes as Cooper, but due to non-compliance with the specifics of Alabama’s election laws, the court determined that Dean had six votes less than the number of votes required to avoid the second round.

Dean opted out of the second round because he feared the city’s financial woes, diminishing board ethics, and the voting rights issues presented by the ruling were issues he could more effectively address. outside the mayor’s office.

After leaving the mayor’s office, Dean continued to research and design a comprehensive program on social justice. He also broadened his advocacy for the decriminalization of marijuana by working with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker on a resolution that would legalize use nationwide. He was part of the nationwide campaign fundraising network for California Senator Kamala Harris and also supported the election of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Alabama Senator Doug Jones. In July 2017, he was named to the board of directors of the Dream Forever Foundation led by Jameis Winton, then quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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After leaving Howard University in 2014, Dean joined the American Federation of Teachers in Jefferson County, Alabama, where he successfully recruited teachers from one of the state’s worst performing high schools to replace both the district superintendent and the school principal.

Dean said that throughout his career he has been a champion of public education reform, criminal justice reform, clean energy and LGBTQ equality.

Dean entered Howard University as an undergraduate student in 2010 where he obtained his degree in Political Science. During his undergraduate career, he served with the Democrats at Howard University College, the Howard University Student Association, and the HU delegation at the Harvard University Kennedy School Black Policy Conference. While studying in the nation’s capital, Dean interned with the staff of U.S. Representatives Artur Davis and Terri Sewell.

The Democratic Party primary takes place on May 24, 2022.

At this point, Dean is the only Democrat to have qualified for the open race for the Senate. Former Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard, businesswoman Jessica Taylor, Congressman Mo Brooks and former Business Council of Alabama CEO Katie Boyd Britt are running for the Republican nomination.

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