SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – One of the country’s youngest mayors, who has gained national attention for launching a privately-funded program to give the poor $ 500 a month in guaranteed income, acknowledged that ‘he had lost his candidacy for re-election in his California town. .
Four years after winning over 70% of the vote, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, 30, has lost more than 10 percentage points.
He conceded the race to Kevin Lincoln on Tuesday after an update of the ballots counted showed he was nearly 12,000 behind schedule, with less than 12,000 ballots left.
“I am honored to have been your mayor and I will continue to support the work needed to move our city forward,” Tubbs said in a press release. “I congratulate Kevin Lincoln and wish him the best as the new mayor.”
It was a surprising defeat for Tubbs, the city’s first black mayor and a Democrat, whose previous political campaigns have been backed by Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. Her fascinating personal story – raised by a single mother while her father was in prison before graduating from Stanford and interning at the Obama White House – earned her national attention.
But he was best known for being one of the first mayors to revive a “universal basic income,” an old idea that has come back to life as a key part of Andrew Yang’s unsuccessful presidential campaign.
Last year Tubbs launched the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, a privately funded program that gave 125 people $ 500 a month for two years to spend however they wanted. A team of university researchers are monitoring participants to measure the impact of money on a range of issues, including mental and physical health.
Funded in part by the nonprofit run by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, the program included a ‘storytelling’ component that resulted in extensive media coverage, as part of Tubbs’ goal. to push other governments to adopt similar programs. Since then, the mayors of 25 other cities have pledged to start their own guaranteed income programs as part of a group founded by Tubbs called Mayors for a Guaranteed Income.
The program, along with some of Tubbs’ other initiatives, made him a star. But it was an image that did not suit some of Stockton’s voters, according to Lee Neves, a Stockton-based political consultant who was not involved in the campaign.
“Stockton is a blue collar town, and Michael brought in ideas that I don’t think a lot of Stockton were comfortable with,” he said.
Voters chose Lincoln, a 40-year-old Republican, Latino and black. He was born and raised in Stockton but joined the Marines in 2001. He then landed a posting on Marine One, the helicopter that carries the President, during the administration of George W. Bush. He returned to California and worked for a private security firm in Silicon Valley before returning home to Stockton to be the executive pastor of LifeSong Church.
Lincoln said he had already quit his job at the church and would take office in January. He will not be overseeing Tubbs’ Guaranteed Income program, as it is run by a non-profit organization separate from the city. He said his aim was to focus on the priorities of the residents of Stockton.
“There has been a disconnect and a lack of trust and transparency between the people of Stockton and their elected officials (officials),” Lincoln said. “Prioritizing the needs and priorities of the people of Stockton is going to force each of us to increase our level of engagement. “