In 2003, former Supervisor Matt Gonzalez narrowly lost the San Francisco mayoral election to Gavin Newsom. He has moved on, but many of his supporters apparently have not, still referring to him affectionately – out of his hearing at least – as “Mayor Matt.”
Not one to be daunted by uphill work, Gonzalez ran for vice president on the 2008 ticket with independent Ralph Nader. The two described their anti-corporatist campaign as a run against the two-party system, but even many liberals and supporters were critical of their efforts.
A lawyer in private practice in San Francisco and a part-time collage artist, Gonzalez spends much of his time “trying to talk people out of going to court,” as he once said in conversation.
At present he is working on a case taken by his late friend Peter Camejo, who was Nader’s vice presidential running mate in 2004 on the Green Party ticket. It involves a habeas corpus petition on behalf of a Folsom State Prison inmate who has already served 10 years of a life sentence mandated by the “three strikes” law after he cheated on a Department of Motor Vehicles test.
Q: Have you been in touch with Ralph Nader since the campaign?
A: I am in touch with Ralph. I last saw him when he was in the Bay Area for [California Green Party co-founder and three-time gubernatorial candidate] Peter Camejo’s memorial [in November].