Candidates in Richmond, California opposing the Chevron Corporatio won handily in Tuesday’s local elections, leaving a strong possibility that the city may push harder in its lawsuit against the oil company while reinvigorating the city’s attempt to seize underwater mortgages from banks so there are fewer foreclosures.
Chevron had spent $3.1 million to oppose candidates running for the City Council, which has been targeting the oil company, but instead voters chose candidates aligned with the Richmond Progressive Alliance. Of the seven council seats, six may be held by those who are targeting the oil refinery.
Chevron backed Nat Bates for mayor, but he was soundly defeated by Councilman Tom Butt; outgoing Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, incumbent Jovanka Beckles and newcomer Eduardo Martinez, who are all sympathetic to pursuing Chevron, were all elected to the City Council, although Martinez’s margin of victory was only 292 seats, leaving the outcome somewhat in doubt because of mail-in and provisional ballots yet uncounted.
Rogers had opposed the city’s attempt to seize underwater mortgages, reported the Contra Costa Times.
All four candidates that were supported by Chevron-backed Moving Forward lost. In September, the Richmond Small Business Association and the West Contra Costa Business Association conducted a poll that found only 13% of local voters gave a favorable rating to Chevron.
Chevron spokesman Braden Reddall stated, “The voters have spoken, and Chevron will work hard to find common ground with this City Council to push for sound policies that allow Richmond to grow and thrive.”