Richmond city councilmembers could vote Tuesday night to fill a seat left open by one of the city's most well-known names.
The people seeking the post range in age and experience, but the most important element could be what's become a powerful progressive advocacy group.
A total of 13 candidates have applied to replace Gayle McLaughlin, who resigned in July to run for lieutenant governor of California. McLaughlin, a former mayor, helped create the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) -- a group that has endorsed progressive candidates who now make up a majority of the council.
The group had a major influence during the 2014 election when Chevron -- the major economic driver for Richmond -- spent more than $3 million on candidates who ended up losing, according to the East Bay Times.
Robert Smith, political science professor at San Francisco State University, said he's impressed that a group of ordinary citizens has been able to organize the way RPA has without much wealth or many resources.