By Michaela Payne
Nancy Pelosi is a tough act to follow, but City College student Bob Miller is running for District 12 representative to the United States Congress.
Miller, 72, is a retired electrician and the Republican candidate in the upcoming June 7 primary for electing the next District 12 representative to the U.S. Congress. The race is “safely Democratic,” according to Ballotpedia.
Miller will challenge incumbent Democratic candidate Nancy Pelosi, the Green Party’s Barry Hermanson, and Independent candidate Preston Picus in the June 7 primaries. From there, the two winning candidates will advance to the general election Nov. 8.
“Nancy Pelosi is going on 30 years because there isn’t a limit,” Miller said. Pelosi has represented San Francisco for 28 years; the city was part of District 8 until California’s district borders were redrawn and renamed in 2011. She also spent five years representing the Sacramento area from 1987 to 1993, and served as leader of the House of Representatives and speaker of the House.
“Running against Nancy Pelosi is not an easy thing to do… but I don’t like her because she’s never here, she’s out raising money,” Miller said.
Miller grew up in San Francisco. He worked as a construction electrician from 1968 until around 2003, when he retired and began taking community college classes.
“I had a stroke five or six years ago and occasionally I’ll mash words,” Miller said. But he lives by the words of 19th century British mathematician and philosopher W.K. Clifford, who said, “It is wrong always, everywhere and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”
So Miller has been compiling his views and editing his personal statement to present to voters.
”I think I’ll be excellent. I’m self-funded; I’m not going to take a penny from anybody. I’m not as rich as Trump but I got enough to handle this,” Miller said. “The essential thing is I would be an advocate for you as a voter.”
“I want to be an advocate for those people and I won’t take money, so it can’t be polluted by anybody else’s money. I think that’s the drug that screws up everything,” Miller said.
Though he’s running as a member of the Republican Party, he said, “I’m not really a Republican, but my parents were. To make them feel better I signed up with them. I can’t drop out and be Independent, I found out. My heart is really more of an Independent.”
“I’d go to Washington, D.C. and get enough information, fly back and hold town hall meetings to get San Franciscans’ opinions,” Miller said.
“I only want to do it one term… and then be a mentor,” Miller said. He’d like to mentor any kind of person from any political party.
“That’s where part of that mentoring project can start. I would let people know what I have in mind, then we’d talk and I’d ask if anyone wants to work with me on that.”
He plans to prioritize improving veterans’ aid and jobs for veterans returning home from the service, like the impacts of outsourcing. “I feel that they went into the service and they weren’t treated right,” Miller said.
He sees current U.S. military occupations in the Middle East as a parallel to the Vietnam War. “I don’t want 60,000 people to die for nothing,” Miller said.
A big dream of Miller’s is to help push for curing blindness and cancer. “Those are two big ones and I’d like to see those get done,” Miller said. Also on his radar are issues of homelessness and the mentally ill stuck out on the streets.
Miller has been living in San Francisco since 1943, except when he served in the Army and when he was married and living in Petaluma. These days, he lives in the Outer Sunset District.
Though Miller is new to politics, he’s been a classic car collector for a long time. He owns Cadillac Coupe de Villes: two ’77s and a ’78. “Buy something now, it doesn’t last,” he said.
At City College this semester, Miller is taking a political education course from Dr. Douglas Orr, a motorcycle repair class and P.E. volleyball, plus an automotive class at Skyline College.
His campaign is more analog and less social media. Miller emails and has a cell phone, but he said, “I don’t know how to work the damn thing… I think face to face is the best way I can do this. I hope!”
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Send an email to: Michaela Payne