Early returns indicated the progressives’ grass roots strategy would be successful. By the end of election night, Butt had captured the mayor’s race with more than 51 percent of the votes cast, and the Chevron-backed candidate, City Councilman Nat Bates, garnered just over 35 percent.
As a distraught Bates told the Richmond Confidential, “It’s a bloodbath, obviously. I think the citizens will suffer.”
Butt, who had accused Chevron of trying to buy the Richmond Council election, was ecstatic over his David versus Goliath victory.
“To take on a campaign that’s funded with $3 million and our modest campaign budget was about $50,000,” he said, “but we had a lot of grassroots help and we pulled it off.”