February 28, 2008
(AP) Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader selected Matt Gonzalez, a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, to be his running mate.
"I want someone who shares my sense of justice and opposition to corporate state control over our society," Nader said Thursday at a news conference announcing his choice. Nader launched his White House bid last weekend.
The Texas-born Gonzalez ran for mayor of San Francisco as a Green Party candidate in 2003 but lost to Gavin Newsom. Gonzalez said he recognized the difficulties of winning the presidential election.
"I have no illusions about what's happening here today," Gonzalez said. "But let me also say that I've never entered a political contest with the idea that it couldn't be won."
Nader, the longtime consumer advocate, sought the White House in each of the last three presidential elections: He ran on the Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000, and as an independent in 2004.
On Thursday, he said he would not be seeking the Green Party nomination, noting that the party has four announced candidates.
"We think that there is plenty of room in this country for parallel progressive candidates," he said.
Nader is still loathed by many Democrats who call him a spoiler and claim his candidacy in 2000 cost Democrats the election by siphoning votes from Al Gore in a razor-thin contest in Florida. Nader has vociferously disputed the spoiler claim, saying only Democrats are to blame for losing the race to George W. Bush.
Though he won 2.7 percent of the national vote as the Green Party candidate in 2000, Nader won just 0.3 percent as an independent in 2004, when he appeared on the ballot in only 34 states.