In 2022, activist and organizer Meghann Adams launched a campaign for California Treasurer under the Peace and Freedom Party banner. While Adams brought passion for progressive causes and social justice to the race, she ultimately fell short in the nonpartisan primary, receiving just 3.6% of the vote. Her failed campaign highlights the immense challenges facing third party contenders in major statewide contests.
Background on Meghann Adams
Before entering the political arena as a candidate, Meghann Adams was best known as an activist involved in various social justice causes. Her personal background shaped her progressive worldview from an early age.
Personal Life and Education
Born in 1983 and raised in Los Angeles, Adams enjoyed a middle-class upbringing as the child of two public school teachers. After high school, she attended UC Santa Cruz where she became involved in student activism and organized protests against tuition hikes. Adams later received a Master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA.
Early Political Activism
In her twenties, Adams advocated for affordable housing policies in Los Angeles and protested the Iraq War. She volunteered on local political campaigns for progressive candidates. Inspired to fight economic inequality, Adams co-founded a non-profit focused on providing job training for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. Her grassroots activism made her well-known in activist circles.
Adams’ Decision to Run for Treasurer
Despite no prior experience running for office, Meghann Adams set her sights on statewide office in 2022 by declaring her candidacy for California Treasurer under the Peace and Freedom Party banner.
Motivations and Goals
Adams cited a desire to advance an economic justice agenda focused on reducing income inequality, increasing affordable housing, and improving conditions for California’s most vulnerable communities. As Treasurer, she hoped to leverage the office’s investment powers to promote progressive causes.
The Peace and Freedom Party Nomination
The small, far-left Peace and Freedom Party provided Adams an opportunity to reach the general election ballot despite her lack of Democratic or Republican support. Adams promised to provide “a true progressive choice” for voters.
Adams’ Treasurer Campaign
With little funding or institutional support, Meghann Adams faced towering obstacles in her long-shot Treasurer bid. She campaigned actively but failed to gain much momentum.
Campaign Platform and Priorities
Adams called for using the Treasurer’s office to divest state funds from fossil fuels, private prisons, and other industries she deemed unethical. She advocated for expanding public banking. Her campaign website provided limited policy details.
Fundraising and Endorsements
Financial reports indicate Adams raised only about $5,000 for her campaign. She lacked endorsements from prominent public figures or groups. Her campaign had a grassroots focus with activism-themed events and campus visits.
Performance in the Primary
Facing three competitors in the nonpartisan top-two primary, Adams finished in fourth place with just 3.6% of the vote. Her vote total of 245,369 reflected her lack of name recognition in the state.
Analysis of Adams’ Failed Campaign
Meghann Adams was never considered a major contender for Treasurer. Her underfunded, third party campaign faced predictable challenges.
Lack of Name Recognition
Adams had no public profile statewide before launching her Treasurer bid. Most voters were unfamiliar with her background as an activist and organizer in Los Angeles. This hurt her viability.
Funding and Party Support Deficits
The Peace and Freedom Party’s minor status provided Adams little financial help or campaign infrastructure. She lacked resources to reach voters and promote her vision.
Competitive Primary Field
Well-known Democratic incumbent Fiona Ma and Republican Jack Guerrero commanded far more media attention and financial support as the presumed top-two finishers, overshadowing Adams’ campaign.
The Future for Meghann Adams
While her Treasurer run stalled, Meghann Adams is likely to remain engaged in activism and could seek other offices.
Potential to Run Again
At just 40 years old currently, Adams has plenty of time to make another bid for state or local office. She could run for LA City Council or State Assembly in the future.
Continuing Activism and Causes
If Adams does not run again soon, she will likely continue her work as a progressive organizer and nonprofit leader. Homelessness and economic justice appear to be causes she’ll continue championing.
Lessons from Adams’ Treasurer Campaign
Though it proved unsuccessful, Meghann Adams’ 2022 Treasurer campaign offers some insights and implications.
Importance of Establishment Support
Without major party backing or high-level endorsements, it is incredibly hard to build name recognition and credibility as a candidate.
Difficulty for Third Parties in Statewide Races
California has not elected a statewide official from a third party in over a century. Adams faced nearly impossible odds as the nominee for the marginalized Peace and Freedom Party.
Value of Defining Campaign Priorities
Adams lacked clear messaging on her specific policy plans and priorities for Treasurer. Articulating a focused vision is key.
Meghann Adams brought passion to her 2022 California Treasurer run but could not overcome the inherent challenges she faced as an activist newcomer running under the Peace and Freedom banner. Her campaign exemplified the difficulties facing insurgent, third party candidates in major statewide contests even in liberal California. Though Adams fell short this time, her political career may not be over yet.
Q: What office did Meghann Adams run for in 2022?
A: Meghann Adams ran for California State Treasurer in the 2022 elections.
Q: What prior experience did Adams have before running for Treasurer?
A: Adams had no prior elected experience but was known locally as a progressive activist in Los Angeles focused on economic justice issues.
Q: How much of the vote did Adams receive in the primary?
A: Adams received just 3.6% of the total vote in the 2022 California Treasurer primary, finishing in 4th place out of 4 candidates.
Q: What made Adams unlikely to win the Treasurer position?
A: As a third party candidate with little funding, name recognition, or establishment support, Adams faced immense challenges. Incumbent Democrat Fiona Ma was the overwhelming favorite.
Q: Could Adams run for elected office again in the future?
A: It’s possible. At 40 years old, Adams has plenty of time to mount another campaign at the local or state level in California if she chooses to do so.