He may have lost a battle to sell medical marijuana in Mountain View, but Matt Lucero says he's been inspired to run for City Council this fall as a champion for the "blue collar, lower-class residents of Mountain View."
"If they thought I was a problem from the other side of the podium, wait until they see me sitting next to them," Lucero said of the City Council.
While Lucero had yet to submit the necessary forms, he said Monday that he was "absolutely" going to run. In order to qualify as a council candidate, he plans to become a Mountain View resident by moving into an apartment on Castro Street "right down the street from City Hall so I can keep an eye on them," he laughed. He plans to rent out his Campbell home to his daughter.
"It was not my idea," Lucero said Monday, saying his Mountain View customers pushed him to do it. "Scores, if not hundreds ask me to do this," he said.
Lucero said he plans to use the former location of his dispensary, Buddy's Cannabis Patient Collective, as campaign headquarters. The operation moved from the Bayshore Parkway location on July 7 to Sunnyvale after a judge upheld Mountain View's temporary ban on pot clubs. Sunnyvale has a similar ban.
Lucero said his desire to run "has nothing to do with Buddy's Cannabis in Mountain View" and that he would abstain from related discussions and votes. "I don't need to sit on the City Council to do the Buddy's thing."
The theme of his campaign, he said, is "throw the bums out."
"I don't like the way that City Council treats its people," Lucero said, noting the way the council decided to shut down his dispensary even though not one resident opposed the operation in City Council meetings. "There is a strong dislike of the City Council by blue collar, lower class residents of Mountain View."
A website and position statements are in the works, but Lucero said he is still "getting up to speed" on a lot of issues. Among the complaints he's gotten from his customers include "misuse of money" for spending $100,000 on high-speed-rail drawings, as well as "oppression and apathy" on the part of the city and City Council.
Lucero, a millionaire and former corporate attorney for large tech companies, said he was not yet sure about whether to commit to the city's voluntary spending cap of $19,000 for a council campaign. Spending over that amount is rare and has been frowned upon by prominent community members in the past. Lucero said he planned to spend up to $25,000 or "whatever it takes" to get elected.
No one had yet pulled the necessary papers to challenge incumbents Jac Siegel, Ronit Bryant and Margaret Abe-Koga as of Tuesday, according to acting city clerk Wanda Wong. Potential candidates can apply between July 12 and Aug. 6.
Lucero also said Tuesday that he has agreed to drop the lawsuit against the city and City Attorney Jannie Quinn that were part of his strategy to keep Buddy's open in Mountain View. Quinn said the city has spent $66,000 on outside attorneys to handle the court battle with Buddy's.