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CANDIDATES / PETER CAMEJO
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Name: Peter Miguel Camejo
Birth date: December 31, 1939
Education: Attended (but did not graduate from) Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley
Military Service: None
Career: Civil rights and antiwar activist, 1965-present; stockbroker, 1985-1987; co-founder and chairman of socially responsible investment firm, 1987-present
Elected office: Unsuccessfully ran for president as socialist in 1976; co-founded California's Green Party in 1991; was Green Party's California gubernatorial nominee in 2002 and in 2003 during the gubernatorial recall race.
Family: Wife, Morella; two children
Quote: "The people have the right to vote who they want. It is the Democrats and Republicans who refuse to allow runoff elections in America so we can have free elections, so people are free to vote for Nader."
Related links external link
Nader campaign Web site
2002/2003 California governor campaign Web site
 
Camejo completes Nader ticket

(CNN) -- Peter Camejo arrived early to third-party politics and activism, and has not left in nearly four decades.

Ralph Nader selected Camejo in June 2004 as running mate on his independent presidential ticket. Camejo, a first-generation American whose family is from Venezuela, was the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president in 1976. More recently, he was the Green Party candidate for governor of California during 2003's special election to replace recalled Gov. Gray Davis. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger won that race.

"The central issue in this campaign is the war in Iraq," Camejo said at the vice presidential announcement.

"It was wrong to support [deposed Iraqi leader] Saddam Hussein for 10 years. It was wrong to give him weapons of mass destruction," Camejo said. "Our policies are a continuation of one error upon another."

Despite Nader's selection of Green Party veteran Camejo days earlier, the party threw support behind activist David Cobb in June. Nader had said he would not interfere with any Green Party campaign, but if the party should decide to back his candidacy, he "would be happy to get their endorsement."

Camejo, 64, also believes he and Nader represent a new choice for the American public in an electoral system that is flawed.

"Twenty-five percent of the American people are not registered Democrat and Republican. It's time we have representation," Camejo told CNN. "Millions may vote for Kerry who agree with us. We understand they're victims of an electoral system that doesn't allow them to vote for what they're for. They have to vote against candidates."

Early activism

Born in New York in 1939, Camejo attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after getting a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT. He left MIT and later attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied history. He was suspended from Berkeley in 1967 after a protest against the Vietnam War that followed his victory in a student council election.

In addition to his antiwar efforts in the 1960s, Camejo marched in Selma, Alabama, with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and staged rallies for migrant farm workers' rights.

"He is a man who has put his principles in practice, who's fought the struggles of the civil rights movement, labor rights movement, in the '60s, '70s," Nader said of Camejo. "Who has in many ways [been] an exemplar of the combination of the mind, the word and the deed."

Along with being a lifelong activist, Camejo is an accomplished yachtsman. When he was 20, he and his father represented Venezuela in yachting at the Olympics in Rome, Italy, but failed to win any medals.

Over the years, Camejo has served as a consultant or on committees to groups promoting environmental and socially responsible investments. He is chairman and co-founder of Progressive Asset Management Inc., a broker-dealer firm that invests for economic, social and environmental change.

Nader has said Camejo will bring an expertise in financial matters to the campaign, dealing with such issues as budgets and taxes.

Camejo has written several books, and is fluent in Spanish and English. He lives in California with his wife, Morella.

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