Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt to run for mayor; RPA’s Mike Parker pulls out of race

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Tom Butt

A few bombshells in local politics dropped Friday: Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt has decided to run for mayor, and Richmond Progressive Alliance member Mike Parker has pulled out of the race.

The East Bay Express broke the story and Butt just confirmed the report with the Richmond Standard.

Butt will battle fellow longtime Councilmember Nat Bates for the mayor’s post. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin is being termed out.

Parker released this statement Friday discussing why he is pulling out of the race:

“After five months of vigorous campaigning for the office of Richmond Mayor, I am withdrawing from the race. A few days before the final filing deadline, I learned that Tom Butt had decided to enter the race.

My supporters and I determined that in this race the progressive vote would likely be split. We decided my time is better spent campaigning for our team of progressive candidates for the Richmond City Council: Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez, and Gayle McLaughlin.

Taken together Gayle, Eduardo, and Jovanka, and the many campaign supporters behind them, represent a different kind of politics, based on organized people-power –not on corporate power.

I am still an active part of “Team Richmond.” I will work very hard to continue the progress we have made in Richmond and to elect members of the Council who support the fight for Doctors Hospital, a cleaner and safer refinery, jobs for Richmond, and rebuilding our system of public education through community involvement. We need to challenge the Chevron candidates and those unwilling to stand up against Chevron when representing the community.

In the course of this campaign, I have met and been inspired by many wonderful Richmond residents. I thank all those volunteers, unions, and community organizations who have endorsed me and especially those volunteers who worked so hard to make my campaign an exciting grassroots effort. I know we can continue the same spirit and energy to make Team Richmond a success.

In gratitude and solidarity,

Mike Parker