Progressive candidates for governor have a hard time amplifying their calls for economic justice
"I won't take any corporate dollars and only people with money get heard," Rodriguez told us.
But he says California has a large and growing number of voters who don't identify with either major party, as well as a huge number of Latino voters who have yet to really make their voices heard at election time.
"I'm really banking on the people that nobody is counting," Rodriguez said. "This is the time when people need to come together. We have to unite on these central things."
That's always a tough task for third-party candidates. Sheehan has a paltry list of endorsers, owing partly to the left-leaning organizations like labor unions staying with Brown, even though Sheehan claims many of their members support her.
"The rank and file is supportive of our message, but the leadership is still tied in with the Democratic Party," Sheehan told us. "This state is deeply controlled by the Democratic Party, even more than it was a few years ago."
But Sheehan considers herself a strong and seasoned candidate. "I've run for Congress, I've run for vice president, and I think that politics should be local," Sheehan told us, saying her main strength would be, "I would work with people to create a better state, not against people."
It was a theme she returned to a few times in our conversation, her main selling point. "It's about inspiring a movement," Sheehan said. "My biggest gift is getting out there and talking to people." But if her strengths are indeed inspiring a movement, working with allies, and building coalitions, then why isn't her campaign doing those things? Sheehan admits that it's been difficult, telling us, "I found it easier in San Francisco to get the word out."