CARBONDALE — Paula Bradshaw of Carbondale announced her candidacy Tuesday for the 12th Congressional District seat.
The Shawnee Green Party candidate said her platform remains largely the same, centering on employment and issues related to America’s military, foreign policy and environment.
“Like a good Green, I am reusing an important resource: My platform from 2012. Unfortunately, it is still needed, today more than ever,” Bradshaw said in the Varsity Theater Exhibition Room.
Bradshaw took dead aim at the Republican and Democrat parties in her announcement, describing them as “corporate parties” with candidates who “spend millions of dollars flooding the airwaves trying to persuade voters that more of the same is the way to go, or saying, ‘The other guy is more evil, so you better vote for me.’”
Asked what she learned from the 2012 election, Bradshaw said voters talk about being ready to vote for a third party but instead, ‘vote for who they think is the lesser of two evils.”
Most people think a third party should have the size and makeup of the established parties, which is rarely the case, she said.
Describing the current Congress as giving up its Constitutional powers so readily to an “Imperial Presidency,” Bradshaw said she would work to repeal the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and the National Defense Authorization Act because, “We now know that the government is monitoring every American’s every communication, which is blatantly unconstitutional and must stop.”
She also calls for repealing the North American Free Trade Agreement and Central America Free Trade Agreement “in order to rebuild our productive capacity in the U.S.” Bradshaw said.
During the November 2012 general election, Bradshaw got 6 percent of more than 298,000 votes cast which made the Green Party an established party in the district.
That means, Bradshaw said, she will need as few as 13 signatures to get her name on the ballot because she got over 5 percent in the last election. In 2012, Bradshaw had to gather 5,000 signatures.
The Carbondale Memorial Hospital emergency room nurse was also scheduled to announce her candidacy later in the day in Belleville.
State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, announced his candidacy for the seat in July. Incumbent Democrat Bill Enyart of Belleville has not made an official statement but is expected to seek re-election.