Instead of attending extravagant fundraisers, setting up political action committees or courting corporate donors, Gayle McLaughlin spends her days driving around California and speaking to small groups of people who want to bring back progressive politics. McLaughlin will be running as a third-party independent candidate in the race for California’s lieutenant governor next year.
From small beginnings as a co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, she was elected to Richmond’s city council on a corporate-free platform. She served two terms as mayor and now intends to take her message statewide. It is a simple but potent axiom.
“Government is for the people, not corporations,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin has the experience. During Richmond’s 2014 elections, she was the focus of a $3 million attack-ad campaign by Chevron. But despite the corporation’s best efforts, McLaughlin and her RPA peers maintained their hold on the city council.
In what is looking to be an expensive race to the finish, McLaughlin is running her campaign one small donation at a time. Through a network of grassroots groups spread out across the state, she has every intention of bringing her progressive values to the state Capitol.