by Kara Platoni
With so much hype over the fate of Aimee Allison, the Green Party candidate for Oakland's District 2 City Council seat, we practically missed the fact that last night the Greens won their first-ever California mayoral campaign in Richmond, where Gayle McLaughlin and her "10-Point Plan for a Better Richmond," narrowly beat incumbent Irma Anderson. Okay, it's sort of a technical first -- Greens have been appointed mayor 22 times in California history. Need to know how the rest of the Green candidates fared statewide? The full press release from the Green Party of California after the jump.
THE GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA www.cagreens.org Green Party candidate upsets incumbent in Richmond, becomes first elected Green mayor in state; Victory underscores major party gains
SACRAMENTO, Ca. (November 8, 2006) - The Green Party of California declared Tuesday's election a major victory after 18 Green candidates won their races - including Gayle McLaughlin, who captured the mayor's spot in Richmond to became the first Green ever elected as mayor in California.
Greens now hold 52 elected offices in California. Of 59 Greens on the state ballot Tuesday, from Governor and US Senate to Congress, the state legislature and local office, 18 of them, or 30.5 percent, were victorious. Four won city council spots - including incumbent Larry Robinson in Sebastopol which has had a Green majority since 2000. Six Greens won seats on boards of education, and four now have seats on the Berkeley rent stabilization board.
McLaughlin, who first ran for public office in 2004 when she won a Richmond City Council position, defeated the incumbent mayor of Richmond, although McLaughlin was outspent by about 10-1. The incumbent accepted more than $110,000 from largely corporate interests, including Chevron, while McLaughlin refused corporate money and raised about $14,000.
Richmond, a working class suburb of San Francisco with a population of about 104,000, becomes the biggest city in the U.S. where at Green is at the helm, and the first in California where a Green was directly elected as mayor. Twenty-two Greens have been appointed mayor in California, including the cities of Santa Monica, Sonoma, Sebastopol, Santa Cruz, Fairfax, Albany, Truckee and Santa Monica.
"Gayle's election is a good thing for the party, and for the citizens of Richmond," said Susan King, GPCA spokesperson. "Overall, this election resulted in some big victories for the Green Party and our agenda for peace, and social justice," she added.
Greens believe California voter discontent over the war in the Iraq - and the role played by Democrats and Republicans in that bloodshed - helped Green Party candidates this year.
UPDATE: With absentee votes still being counted, McLaughlin may not have won, after all. See our additional coverage.
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