Tom Butt
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  Gayle McLaughlin Declines to Run for Reelection, Endorses Sue Wilson
June 5, 2024

Confirming rumors that have been circulating for months, Gayle McLaughlin announced that she will not seek reelection to her Richmond City Council seat. Instead, she has endorsed Richmond Progressive Alliance stalwart Sue Wilson, who announced her candidacy one hour ago.

Daniel Heiss announced his candidacy in District 5 in early May. Ahmad Anderson has also expressed an interest in running.

According to her website,, Wilson is a political consultant that supported radical progressive Jovanka Beckles in her unsuccessful campaign for Assembly District 15 as well as campaigns of all RPA City Council members.

As full-time union staffer for nearly 20 years, I specialized in strategic communication, member and staff training, and organizational development. In 2018 I stepped out as a consultant, continuing to offer services to labor unions while taking on political candidates and non-profit organizations as clients for the first time. 

I worked as a field director on Jovanka Beckles’ run for the Assembly District 15 seat in 2018, and I have managed or consulted on the campaigns of all the progressive members of Richmond City Council, among others.  I know a great deal about what it takes for corporate-free candidates to successfully compete against their better-funded competitors.

Before switching to political and labor work, I was briefly an academic — I received PhD in Socio-Cultural anthropology at UC Berkeley under the guidance of Professor Laura Nader. After returning from fieldwork in Havana, I started volunteering for the labor union that represented graduate student instructors and was eventually elected unit chair of UAW 2865 at UC Berkeley.

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District 5 – Daniel Nathan Heiss

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Heiss, who was planning to challenge incumbent Gayle McLaughlin, has lived in Richmond for four years and spent time in the city for some seven years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Communication from Washington State University where he was news director and director of alternative programming for Channel 8 Television. He earned a master’s degree in Sports Business, Finance and Economics at Georgetown University.  Heiss has been the associate director of development for UC Berkeley Athletics, executive director of development for Phi Kappa Sigma Educational Fund, Inc., Senior Director and consultant for CCS Fundraising, and an account executive for PredictHQ.

Between college at Washington State University and graduate school at Georgetown University, he worked in the entertainment industry focusing on comedy. He served as a volunteer on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Crisis Response Team and as a Commissioner on Richmond’s Economic Development Commission. Heiss lives in the Annex with his wife Maddy and dog Socks. See and