Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan on Tuesday announced plans to challenge Gov. Jerry Brown, saying her nascent campaign would focus on bringing peace, economic equality and environmental stability to California.
"One of the goals of this campaign is to break the stranglehold on this state's politics by the two parties of, by and for the corporations and the 1 percent," Sheehan, of the Peace and Freedom Party, told supporters outside the Capitol. "I am devoted to improving
the lives of the working and poor classes, and protecting our precious and compromised environment."
Californians want education, jobs and health care, she said, "not more empty promises and pandering to the wealthy."
She also touched on what she described as a lack of diversity in the governor's office.
Sheehan, who rode her bike to Sacramento from Davis, admitted that her campaign had not secured a permit for the event. Instead, she decided to piggyback on a news conference held by critics of the Brown administration's handling of prisons.
"We have to do this quickly because we don't want them to take the podium," Sheehan said. "This is, like, serendipitous, for us. We didn't get a permit.
"I guess I shouldn't announce that."
Sheehan, 56, made a name for herself protesting the Iraq War after her son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed there in 2004. Her stops included a temporary camp outside President George W. Bush's ranch in Texas.
Last year, she mounted an unsuccessful bid for vice president, running alongside Roseanne Barr as the Peace and Freedom Party's standard bearers.
Running as an independent against U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi in 2008, Sheehan came in second with about 16 percent of the vote, finishing ahead of the Republican in the race.
Her gubernatorial campaign is being viewed as an equally uphill trek.
Brown has amassed more than $10 million for his re-election effort in 2014.
Before taking off with her bike Tuesday, Sheehan accepted a $1 bill from a supporter.
"Let's keep it going," she said.
PHOTO: Peace activist Cindy Sheehan announces her candidacy for governor at the state Capitol on Aug. 27, 2013. Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli.