Oprah spiritual adviser, peace activist and New York Times best-selling author Marianne Williamson is ineligible to run as a Democrat in the special 10th Congressional District special election and is exploring a run instead as a write-in candidate.
Election law says you must have been registered as a member of a party at least 90 days in order to run as a candidate for that party. She became a Democrat in June and is not eligible to run as a member of that party, said Contra Costa Registrar of Voters Steve Weir.
“Ms. Williamson has a lawyer who is calling and asking questions about the write-in process,” Weir said.
Five p.m. today is the deadline for partisan and independent candidates to file for the seat. The deadline to qualify as a write-in candidate is Aug. 18. The special primary election is Sept. 1 and voting by mail will begin the week of Aug. 3.
As a write-in candidate, voters must literally write her name down on the ballot as it will not appear as one of the pre-printed choices. It is a very difficult hurdle for a candidate to overcome, particularly in a low turnout special election.
Williamson, a resident of Hollywood, has written numerous books on spirituality and regularly podcasts from Oprah.com. Williamson recently held a series of listening tours around the district as part of her exploration of a possible run for Congress. Orinda resident Steven Berg attended one of her sessions and sent me this account:
“Williamson said that what spurred her on to think about entering the competitive race was hearing one of the current Democratic candidates say that he had the skills to negotiate with insurance companies, something she said she would not do. Williamson spoke passionately in support of public financed political campaigns and their potential effect on removing the power of the insurance industry ‘and striking fear in them.’
Williamson spoke repeatedly about what will no doubt be a core theme in her campaign…the need to focus on what she termed “bringing peace, compassion and love to legislation.”
She spoke about her desire to convert Lawrence Livermore Laboratories into a vehicle for peace. Said Williamson, “Right now 85% of the projects at Livermore are nuclear focused, we need to change them into projects for peace and build a Humanitarian Industrial Complex.”