In spite of the fact that several candidates have announced their run for the presidency, it may seem a bit premature to be thinking about Senate races in 2020. But the possibility of a charismatic political outsider and community activist taking on Senator Bill Cassidy is too good to ignore.
Antoine Pierce is a community activist and organizer, a radio talk show host, a writer, a delegate for the Urban Congress on African American Boys in Baton Rouge, a fellow in the fifth cohort of the Urban Leadership Development Initiative, and a spokesperson for the Your Voice Matters Tour, which helps to educate Louisiana’s citizens on how to be civically engaged. Although he is politically active, he’s not what you’d call a political insider – something that sets him apart from Cassidy and the other candidates who typically win in Louisiana. His political experience includes being appointed by Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome to serve on her transition subcommittee for the Office of Community Development, and a recent appointment to Governor John Bel Edwards’ Advisory Council for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency.
Perhaps the most important thing to know about Pierce, though, is that he’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes in, even when it means taking on the political establishment.
A native of Baton Rouge and one of seven children, Pierce grew up in a lower-middle-class family. He is a Christian who espouses true Christian values of love, inclusion, and equality. He is pro-women’s rights, pro-LGBTQ rights, and believes in a woman’s right to choose. He has acted as an advocate for impoverished children and families across Louisiana. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies from Louisiana State University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in public policy.
He’s also the President of The Better Boys Initiative, a nonprofit that “uses the arts to develop character and bolster self-esteem amongst minority and underserved young men throughout Baton Rouge.” During the recent government shutdown, the group worked to provide healthy meals to furloughed federal workers.
Now he’s considering a run for the Senate. Pierce announced the formation of his exploratory committee on March 25.
Of himself, Pierce says:
“I will not ‘play the political games’ that are expected of candidates. I absolutely refuse to compromise my values and principles or the needs of my community to stroke people’s egos. I recognize that we won’t agree on everything, but I always seek common ground. Apparently, this political climate makes the act of reaching across the aisle and seeking consensus a relic of the past. Finding consensus within party lines seems to be equally challenging.”
He goes on to point out that he is “not in the pockets of corporations, endorsers or funders,” and that his only intention would be to serve his community.
Sounds like exactly the sort of person we need in the Senate right now.
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.