Laura Wells

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors
Laura Wells
California Controller
Former Candidate
PartyGreen Party
Elections and appointments
Last electionJune 3, 2014 (California Controller Primary)
Campaign $$7,791
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sWayne State University (1969)
Master'sAntioch University
Date of birthJanuary 2, 1948
Place of birthTraverse City, Michigan
ProfessionFinancial Analyst
Personal website
Campaign website
Laura Wells (b. January 2, 1948, in Traverse City, Michigan) was a Green Party candidate for California Controller in the 2014 elections.[1]

Wells was a Green Party candidate for the Governor of California in 2010.

Wells is a former financial and business analyst, and political activist in Oakland California. She supports making significant changes to Proposition 13 and to the current super-majority voting rule in the Sacramento legislature. In 2002 she garnered nearly a half million votes in her run for California State Controller.[2]


Wells was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan. She earned her B.A. from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1969, where she was a scholarship student, majored in foreign languages, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa society. Wells earned a Master's of Education at Antioch University, and later worked in finance, business analysis and computer programming.

Wells has resided in California for more than 30 years.


  • Bachelor's of Arts in foreign languages - Wayne State University in Detroit (1969)
  • Master's of Education - Antioch University

Political career

Wells has served in numerous county and state-level leadership positions in the Green Party of California since she registered with the Green Party in 1992.[3] She was a founding member of the Green Party County Council in Alameda County (1992-94; 2002-04), a co-founder and managing editor of the Green Party newspaper, Green Focus (2002-2004), and a campaign steering committee member for Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) in Oakland, an effort that achieved 69% voter approval (2006).

In 2002 and 2006, Wells ran campaigns for State Controller, receiving 419,873 votes in 2002, the most ever for a Green Party candidate in a statewide partisan race in California.[4][5] In 2009, Wells appeared on the Fox News program “Your World” several times to discuss tax fairness in California.

Wells has also participated in five international delegations to Canada and South America to study innovations in participatory democracy and new constitutions, and has broadly worked in a range of volunteer and professional capacities for community and labor organizations, including Pesticide Action Network (North America), Women’s Economic Agenda Project, and SEIU United Healthcare Workers (West).Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag



See also: California down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Wells ran for California Controller in the 2014 elections. She sought nomination in the primary on June 3. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

California Controller, Blanket Primary, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAshley Swearengin 24.8% 1,001,473
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBetty Yee 21.7% 878,195
     Democratic John Perez 21.7% 877,714
     Republican David Evans 21% 850,109
     Green Laura Wells 5.7% 231,352
     Democratic Tammy D. Blair 5% 200,532
Total Votes 4,039,375
Election Results via California Secretary of State.


See also: California gubernatorial election, 2010

Wells lost the general election to Democrat Jerry Brown.[6]

2010 Race for Governor - General Election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Jerry Brown 53.44%
     Republican Party Meg Whitman 40.63%
     American Independent Party Chelene Nightengale 1.64%
     Libertarian Party Dale Ogden 1.49%
     Green Party Laura Wells 1.89%
     Peace and Freedom Party Carlos Alvarez 0.91%
     write-in Hugh Bagley >0.01%
     write-in Rakesh Kumar Christian >0.01%
Total Votes 10,158,139

Race background

In January of 2010, Laura Wells announced her candidacy for governor of California in the 2010 election.[7] If elected, Wells would have become both the first female and the first Green party governor of California.

Wells’ campaign emphasized the California budget and tax issues, particularly Proposition 13, which she said must be changed, in part because it primarily benefits corporations over individuals. In a position paper on Proposition 13, Wells wrote:

”Proposition 13, in 1978, was promoted to California voters as a way to reduce taxes and to stop fixed-income seniors and others from losing their homes due to escalating property taxes. Since then, the bulk of the "tax relief" goes places the voters never intended--giant corporations. Corporate properties are rarely re-assessed since corporations don't die and seldom sell.”[8]

Wells also favored lowering the margin needed to pass a budget and raise taxes in the state from two-thirds to a simple majority. She supported increasing funding for education, and the use of a ‘split-roll tax’ to keep cap residential property taxes while allowing higher property taxes for businesses. In a January 2010 interview with The Sacramento Bee discussing her views on taxes and the budget in California, Wells stated:

"The two parties, the Democrat and Republican parties, do not address the root causes of the problem," Wells said. "That's off the table for them. ... To get what we want and to have the revenue that pays for it we need to have a budget that makes sense."[9]

Wells also addressed the difficulty that third parties have in running candidates for state elections:

”. . . she says [the difficulty for third parties] is a result of the "locked-down" system the Democrats and Republicans have put in place. As a case in point, she said she had to pay $6,000 for a 300-word ballot statement when she ran for state controller in 2006, a fee she said blocks minor-party candidates from running.”[10]

Wells supported a Single Payer Universal Healthcare solution for California, and if given the opportunity, said that she would gladly sign SB 840 (the Single Payer bill introduced by State Senator Sheila Kuehl) into law.[11] Wells also supports the use of clean, sustainable, local energy, including publicly-owned utilities, Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and localized (distributed) electricity generation, instead of nuclear power or carbon sequestration.[12] Wells also opposed government bailouts of large corporations and banks.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Wells is available dating back to 2014. Based on available campaign finance records, Wells raised a total of $7,791 during that time period. This information was last updated on January 27, 2015.[13]

Laura Wells's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2014 California Controller Defeated $7,791
Grand Total Raised $7,791


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Laura Wells's donors each year.[14] Click [show] for more information.


Wells has one daughter, Natalia, born in Oakland, now a 23-year-old musician and graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

See also

External links

Suggest a link
Campaign Facebook
Campaign Twitter


  1. Laura Wells for Controller 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed November 25, 2013
  2. The Sacramento Bee, "Green Party's California gubernatorial candidate steps up," January 16, 2010
  3., "Laura Wells, Candidate for State Controller; State of California," November 5, 2002
  4., "Laura Wells, Candidate for State Controller; State of California," accessed March 2, 2010
  5., "Green Party Speakers Bureau: Laura Wells," March 2, 2010
  6. California Secretary of State, "Statement of Vote" November 2, 2010 General Election," updated November 8, 2010 at 11:51, accessed November 8, 2010, November 29, 2010, and December 21, 2010
  7. [ The Sacramento Bee, January 16, 2010
  8. Wells, Laura "Prop 13 means bad luck for California". Retrieved on 2010-02-03., Position Paper, 2002 Candidate for Controller; State of California
  9. Chang, Jack. "Green Party's California gubernatorial candidate steps up.". Retrieved on 2010-02-03.  “The Sacramento Bee” Saturday January 16, 2010
  10. Chang, Jack. "Are frustrated Californians ready to go Green?". Retrieved on 2010-02-03.  “The Sacramento Bee” Capitol Alert, Friday January 15, 2010
  11. "Laura Wells for Governor, Platform: Healthcare – Key Themes". Retrieved on 2010-02-03., Platform
  12. "Laura Wells for Governor, Platform: Energy and Climate – Key Themes". Retrieved on 2010-02-03., Platform
  13. Follow the Money, "Wells, Laura," accessed February 12, 2015
  14. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015