These are the Progressive Corporate-Free Candidates Running for Office in California


Delaine EastinGayle McLaughlinJovanka BecklesRobert RivasMaria EstradaAnkur PatelElizabeth WarrenJestin SamsonMarggie CastellanoDavid HildebrandRoza CalderonStephen JaffeJess PhoenixMIguel ZunigaAngelica DuenasDoug ApplegatePamela PriceGenevieve Jones-WrightDave MyersJane KimSteve DunwoodyPatty LopezPat HarrisJulia Peacock

Ammar Campa-Najjar


This list of candidates has been compiled through the efforts of members of the California Super-Progressive Anti-Corporate Political Activists Facebook group, a coalition of Bernie delegates and super-volunteers, progressive members of the California Democratic Party and Green Party activists.   While there may be other corporate-free, progressive candidates running for office, these are the candidates that have received the most support.

June 2018 Election

Governor: Delaine Eastin (D)
Lt GovernorGayle McLaughlin (NPP) OR
Secretary of State: Ruben Major (D)
Attorney General: Dave Jones¹ (D)

State Assembly

AD 3 Sonia Aery (D) CDP
AD 10 Dan Monte (D)
AD 15 Jovanka Beckles (D) OR –
AD 16 Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D) CDP
AD 30  Robert Rivas (D) CDP
AD 33  Socorro Cisneros (D)
AD 39 Patty Lopez (D)
AD 45 Ankur Patel (D) OR
AD 54 Steve Dunwoody (D) OR – Bernie delegate
AD 63  Maria Estrada (D)
AD 67 Kelly Faul (D) or Michelle Singleton (D)
AD 70 Rachel Bruhnke (G)
AD 71 James Elia (D) CDP OR
AD 73 Scott Rhinehart (D) CDP
AD 75 Alan Geraci (D) CDP
AD 76 Elizabeth Warren (D) – Bernie Committee member

State Senate

SD 4 Phillip Kim (D)
SD 24 Peter Choi (D)
SD 34 Jestin Samson (D) – Bernie delegate
SD 36 Marggie Castellano  (D) – Bernie delegate

US Senate

Pat Harris (D) or David Hilderbrand (D)

US Congress

CD 1 Audrey Denney (D) JD
CD 4 Roza Calderon (D) JD
CD 5 Jason Kishineff  (G) or Nils Palsson (NPP)
CD 8 Marge Doyle (D) CDP
CD 10 Michael Barkley (D)
CD 12 Stephen Jaffee (D) or Shahid Buttar (D)
CD 17 Ro Khanna(i)(D) CDP/JD
CD 22 Ricardo Franco (D)
CD 25 Jess Phoenix (D)
CD 27 Bryan Witt (D)
CD 29 Angelica Duenas (G) – Bernie delegate
CD 30 Jon Pelzer (D)
CD 31 Kaisar Ahmed (D)
CD 34 Kenneth Mejia (G)
CD 42 Julia Peacock  (D) CDP
CD 43 Miguel Zuniga (G) – Bernie delegate

CD 49 Doug Applegate (D) JD
CD 50 Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) CDP/JD/OR

Local Offices

Alameda County

District Attorney: Pamela Price OR

Humboldt County

Supervisor District 1: Dani Burkhart
Supervisor District 5: Steve Madrone

Nevada County

Supervisor District 3: Hilary Hodge

Sacramento County

Sheriff: Milo Fitch OR
District Attorney: Noah Phillips OR
Sacramento City Council District 5: Tamika L’Ecluse
Sacamento City Council District 7: Tristan Brown

San Diego County

District Attorney: Geneviéve Jones-Wright
Sheriff: Dave Myers
Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk: Matt Strabone
Supervisor Seat 5: Michelle Gomez

Chula Vista City Council District 1: Mark Bartlet
Chula Vista City Council District 2: Patrick MacFarland

San Diego City Council District 4: Monica Montgomery
San Diego City Council District 6: Fayaz Nawabi

San Francisco

Mayor: Jane Kim OR
Supervisor District 8: Rafael Mandelman

San Joaquin County

Supervisor District 2: Motecuzoma SanchezBernie delegate

(i) = incumbent

CDP = Endorsed by the California Democratic Party
OR = Endorsed by Our Revolution
JD = Endorsed by Justice Democrats

(D) = Democrat
(G) = Green Party
(NPP) = No Party Preference

Note: Inclusion on this list does not imply my support or the support of any individual member of the FB group. Members of the California Democratic Party are prohibited from expressing support or preference for candidates for state or national office not registered Democrat, and no such support should be implied.

This list is NOT final, names may be added or removed as more information becomes available.

We consider a candidate corporate-free if he does not take contributions from large businesses and corporations (those with over 25 employees).

1Dave Jones is not running a completely corporate free campaign. However, we are supporting him because he opposes the death penalty and is committed to ending mass incarceration in California.

For recommendations on other statewide races and in Alameda County, check out the San Leandro Talk Voting Guide.

Ruben MajorSonia AeryCesar ArmendarizRebecca Bauer-KahanDan MonteSocorro CisnerosJames EliaRachelScott RhinehartAlan Geraci

44 Replies to “These are the Progressive Corporate-Free Candidates Running for Office in California”

  1. Lewis Elbinger, a member of the Green Party and running for CA CD1 does not take corporate money donations.

    Is there a reason that Marty Walters, a Democrat also running for CA CD1 is not on this list?

    1. I would think it depends on how one defines “Progressive”. It is more than just not taking corporate cash. I would think Marty’s stance on the 2nd amendment and school shootings plays a big part. Some may say that is similar to LaMalfa’s position. Putting rapid fire assault weapons over children’s lives is something I would NOT consider “Progressive”. A progressive candidate should state very clearly that rapid-fire military assault weapons should be banned. Marty is also very weak on Medi-care For ALL.

      This is how candidates were chosen according-from intro of article at top of page:
      “While there may be other corporate-free, progressive candidates running for office, these are the candidates that have received the most support.”

  2. Ruben Major is the progressive, non-corporate Secretary of State candidate of choice for Our Revolution Long Beach, San Diego Progressive Democratic Club, Marin County Young Democrats, Democracy for America, and North County San Diego Progressive Democrats, among others. Can you please add him to this list?

    1. 1 – Did you go to Philly? I don’t remember you, though there were lots of us there. There are other candidates in this list who were either elected or appointed as delegates but didn’t end up going. I am open to noting that in the list (perhaps as “elected Bernie delegate” or “appointed Bernie delegate”) if I learn about it. I’m also open to note that a candidate was a “Bernie supervolunteer” if I get confirmation of this status.

      2- There isn’t enough room as the page currently displays on my desktop to include photos of all candidates, so I made a totally arbitrary selection of candidates based on those who I personally know (save for a couple). I’ll try to figure out how to switch photos in the future. If anyone knows how I can automate it, e-mail me.

    1. We have removed Brian Forde from this list after learning he was a registered Republican until recently.

      The contributions you noted, however, are not from corporations but from individuals working for those corporations. Corporations can only contribute to federal candidates through business PACs, and Forde does not show any such contributions.

  3. Not seeing:
    Michael Feinstein for Sec of State
    Alison Hartson for US Senate.

    Are they not corporate free?

    1. No, as we mentioned on the top, this is not an exclusive list of /all/ the corporate-free candidates, but rather of the candidates that the members of the California Super-Progressives FB group – most of whom are very active political activists – consider the best of the bunch.

      We had a poll for Secretary of State and US Senate and the recommendations are based on the poll’s results.

      1. Please consider retitling this post. It is being shared in places on Facebook, and most people won’t read the fine print about this not being “*the* Progressive Corporate-Free Candidates” after all. I know this is not your intention, but presenting it as an easy way to learn who is corporate-free in CA is unfair and misleading.

        1. Well, they are the progressive corporate-free candidates we recommend. And it says so explicitly at the top, before we list names. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone reading that they are not the only progressive corporate-free candidates as otherwise we’d be including many more.

    2. Yes, Alison Hartson is corporate free. She’s the best contender against Feinstein, IMO. To not mention her is ludicrous.

    1. She is endorsed by OR Chico but not by OR National. Only 11 out of dozens of berniecrat candidates have been endorsed by the national. It’s a tough endorsement to get.

    1. As mentioned above, we had a poll in the group about which corporate-free Senate candidates to include. The consensus of the group, which is made of very involved political activists, was to include Pat Harris and David Hilderbrand but not Alison Hartson.

      I’m sure every member had their reason for voting how they did, but in general I can tell you there are worries within the movement that Alison is not actually progressive on issues beyond money in politics, and she has not attended events she said she would, where she could be questioned closely about her economic and social justice views.

      There have also been concerns about other issues related to her her campaign.

        1. I’ll be happy to discuss them with you privately if you e-mail me at or message me on Facebook (Margarita Lacabe). But even though Alison Hartson is not my choice, I see no reason to publicly disparage a corporate-free candidate when we have far bigger issues to fight against.

  4. Here’s a list of the CA progressive candidates running under Justice Democrats. All of them are “corporate free.” Also, be sure to do more of your own research because there are plenty of unknown progressives running in CA.


    Audrey Denney, District 1

    Roza Calderon, District 4

    Ro Khanna, District 17

    Bryan Caforio, District 25

    Doug Applegate, District 49

    Ammar Campa-Najjar, District 50

    Alison Hartson, for US Senate of CA

  5. And here are candidates endorsed by Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution (

    Jovanka Beckles, Assembly District 15

    Ankur Patel, Assembly District 45

    Pamela Price, District Attorney, Alameda County

    Noah Phillips, District Attorney, Sacramento County

    Gayle McLaughlin, Lieutenant Governor

    Jane Kim, Mayor, San Francisco

    Cesar Armendariz, School Board, District 3

    Milo Fitch, Sheriff, Sacramento County

    James Elia, State Representative, District 71

    Andy Thorburn, House Representative, District 39

    Ammar Campa-Najjar, House Representative, District 50
    (See Justice Democrats list in the comment above.)

    1. Thank you, Tom, for a more appropriate listing of actually progressive candidates (I can’t believe some group of so-called progressive activists would take issue with Alison Hartson as not being progressive enough… obviously said activists aren’t fully in the loop when it comes to where to get the honest truth in news).

      1. Well, the members of the group are mostly very engaged political activists. This means they don’t only get their information from the media, but directly from the candidates, their campaigns and, in the case of Alison, from people who have worked with her in the past and even helped write her platform. Basically, there is a lot of inside knowledge that helps make these decisions.

  6. And to the operator of this website, please take a moment to read the policy platform of Justice Democrats here
    They are NOT just about getting money out of politics, they in fact have by far the most progressive stances of any progressive leaning groups out there. Please read the page I linked above (share it with your group) then reconsider adding Alison Hartson and possibly Ro Khana to this page. Justice Democrats does not accept affiliation with any candidates who do not agree to every policy stance laid out on that page.

    1. Whatever platform Justice Democrats claims to have, it does not mean that it’s shared by Alison – who in the past expressed doubts about single payer and appeared to endorse tickle-down economics – or that Aison has the values that progressives actually espouse. One of those values is transparency – Alison has now twice cancelled appearances with one of our local OR chapters where we were hoping to prove her views closely, increasing suspicion about her.

      As for Justice Democrats, it is very concerning that they endorsed Bryan Caforio, who is the establishment candidate in the CD 25 race, instead of the progressive firebrand AND Berniecrat Jess Phoenix. Caforio did not support Sanders and had nothing but praise for Hillary Clinton. Caforio, meanwhile, has been waging a nasty negative campaign. So I’d take with a grain of salt JD’s recommendations.

      1. As I already stated, being a Justice Democrat DOES in fact mean the candidate strictly agrees with and adheres to the entire plarform as laid out on the website… Justice Democrats will not endorse any candidate who doesn’t 100% agree to pledge themselves to every single issue cited in their platform. And just when did Alison express these views against single payer health care or trickle down economics? This year is her first time running for any office and she’s been pro single payer and anti-corporate from the start if this campaign so I don’t know where you could be getting this kind of misleading information from.
        As to her missing some local events well she is currently the national director of wolf-pac and travels back and forth all across the country constantly in response to various states’ judicial scheduling so perhaps she orher more pressing obligations to the benefit of this country at the time than her own political career objectives.

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