The campaign that made Councilman Corky

corky booze talks to a voter

Corky Booze listens to a potential voter outside of Casper's Restaurant.

Cortland “Corky” Boozé is a rarity in local politics: The hard-luck local provocateur who finally broke into the inner circle. After at least nine unsuccessful tries for city council since the 1980s, Boozé won a seat at the table in Richmond this November.

He’s the kind of spur-of-the-moment, unscripted politician who makes people nervous, promising a colorful ride over the next four years.

During his campaign, Richmond Confidential followed Boozé as he barnstormed incessantly, particularly in the city’s poorer, predominately African-American communities, including North Richmond.

The self-proclaimed “hardest working man in Richmond” proved to be emotional, excitable, and ultimately, an effective campaigner.

He made no bones about his willingness to spend hours cajoling and assuaging one resident at a time, despite no guarantee that he would get their vote.

“I can’t cut down the time, I represent the people,” Booze said briskly. “Whatever time it takes me to get their questions and concerns taken care of, that’s what I do.”

This radio report, which you can listen to by clicking the arrow above to the right, was first broadcast in December on Crosscurrents from KALW News. It is the third installment in a three-part series exploring the North Richmond community.


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