RICHMOND — Councilwoman Gayle McLaughlin is stepping down to fully focus on her campaign for lieutenant governor, she announced in a statement read to the City Council at the close of its meeting Tuesday.

Her resignation will be effective after the July 18 council meeting.

“Our nation is in a catastrophic free-fall, and the Trump administration is dragging the world down with it,” McLaughlin’s statement read in part. “With the help of corporate-funded policy-makers, corporations are boldly grabbing all the resources they can, dismantling every small protection gained by the people of our nation over the years.”

Under the city’s charter, the council will have 60 days, or until Sept. 16, to appoint someone to fill the seat vacated by McLaughlin’s resignation, Mayor Tom Butt announced.

The last time the council filled a vacancy was in Feb. 2015, after Butt had vacated his council seat and become mayor the previous month. The council ultimately appointed Vinay Pimple, who then ran for a full term in November 2016, but lost.

McLaughlin, dubbed by her campaign as “the Bernie Sanders of the East Bay,” had announced her candidacy earlier this month.

“While Wall Street controls our federal government and the planet burns with unprecedented heat, 28 million Americans are thrown out of health coverage,” her statement read Tuesday continues. “And the same law that takes away our health care gives another $30 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest one percent.

“Public education is being privatized, the EPA eliminated, millions of  workers are threatened with deportation, racists are emboldened, and our police forces are militarized,” the statement continues. Wall Street and the banks are set free from the limited restrictions imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act and continue their predation on the American people.”

McLaughlin served two terms as Richmond’s mayor, elected in 2006 and reelected in 2010. She was first elected to the council in 2004 as a member of the Green Party. She was again elected to the council in 2014 when her second term as mayor expired. She is a co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, which enjoys a majority on the Richmond council.

She faces a crowded field of potential candidates, six of whom had formally declared their intention as of this week.

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