Berkeley mayoral candidate Zachary RunningWolf is now running his campaign from Santa Rita Jail after he was arrested Sept. 12 on three counts of misdemeanor vandalism and one count of felony vandalism that allegedly occurred at a Sept. 10 protest in Oakland.
Activist Michael Delacour said RunningWolf’s alleged vandalism occurred around a Bank of America during a march in solidarity with incarcerated workers who went on strike. RunningWolf was also charged with marijuana possession and the resistance, delay or obstruction of a peace officer, according to Alameda County inmate detail custody information. His bail is currently set at $50,000.
“When you can’t be out there campaigning, you’re at a disadvantage,” said Julie Dickinson, RunningWolf’s longtime friend. “This is called interfering with an election.”
The city’s regulatory requirements for a mayoral election do not explicitly require that the candidate themselves be present to complete the requirements, according to city spokesperson Matthai Chakko.
Fellow mayoral candidate Ben Gould said RunningWolf’s arrest will have little influence on the election.
“I think people who plan to support RunningWolf will support him further for this,” Gould said, noting that they would likely agree with the sentiment of RunningWolf’s alleged actions.
Dickinson believes there are still drawbacks that come with RunningWolf having to run his campaign from jail in Dublin. She said RunningWolf contacted her to email someone who could take his place at the candidates’ event but the email address she received from him was incomplete so she could not find a stand-in.
RunningWolf’s hearing was scheduled for the morning of Sept. 29 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse. According to Dickinson, however, RunningWolf did not appear, potentially because of complications from a possible change in the location of the hearing.