Cindy Sheehan to Challenge Pelosi for Seat in Congress

Kaitlynn Riely | August 13, 2008 | 6:04pm EDT
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Michelle Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be the featured first-night speakers at the Democratic National Convention, which also will include a videotaped message from Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy.

( - Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist who is perhaps best known for protesting the Iraq war outside President Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch, has qualified for the November ballot to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for California’s 8th U.S. House District seat.
The San Francisco Department of Elections lists Sheehan as an Independent, alongside Democrat Pelosi, Republican Dana Walsh and Libertarian candidate Philip Z. Berg as the four candidates that qualified for the ballot in the Eighth District.
Sheehan’s oldest son, Casey, was killed in Iraq at age 24, and since his death, Sheehan has waged a campaign to bring the troops home from Iraq. Most of her criticism has been directed at the Bush administration, but she has also been critical of Pelosi for failing to end funding for the Iraq war and for not beginning impeachment hearings against Bush.
Sheehan’s platform, posted on her campaign Web site, calls for the United States to “bring our troops home from all countries where our troops are deployed to promote occupation, corporate greed and empire” and for repealing the USA Patriot Act.
Numerous calls to Sheehan’s San Francisco campaign headquarters were not answered Wednesday.
Calls to the speaker’s office did not elicit an interview, but the Associated Press quoted a Pelosi aide as saying the speaker “welcomed” Sheehan’s challenge.
“The speaker has the highest respect for Cindy Sheehan,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill. “Ms. Sheehan lost her son in the Iraq war and has the right – as every American has – to run for office.”
The San Francisco Green Party endorsed Sheehan before she was officially on the ballot, spokesperson Erika McDonald told
A lot of people, McDonald said, are “really fed up” with Pelosi. The reasons for the animosity towards Pelosi go beyond the Iraq war and the impeachment issue, she said.
“Nancy Pelosi’s pretty much a ghost around here,” she said. “You don’t see her, ever.”
In 2006, in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” Sheehan called President Bush "the biggest terrorist in the world" – saying that he was "worse than Osama bin Laden.”
In 2007, Sheehan announced she was going to run against Pelosi because the speaker had refused to pursue calls for Bush’s impeachment.
Sheehan recently moved to California’s 8th District, which includes four-fifths of the city of San Francisco – a district that includes the heavily homosexual Castro District, and the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of ‘60s hippie fame.
McDonald, who lives near Sheehan, said she has been active in the community.
“I think she has a good shot,” McDonald said. “I think she’s going to get a lot of votes. Winning is going to be tough, but I think that she’s going to get a lot of votes.”
Pelosi, who was first elected into Congress in 1987, won her 2006 House race with 80 percent of the vote.
According to Associated Press reports, Sheehan’s campaign had collected more than $300,000 by the end of June, compared to Pelosi’s $2.4 million.
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