Land of fruit and nuts: Who's running for Senate in California? Everyone

Californians have a long list of colorful candidates for the U.S. Senate as voters go to the polls.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters
Californians have a long list of colorful candidates for the U.S. Senate as voters go to the polls.

Nearly 39 million people live in California, and looking at Tuesday's primary ballot, you'd think every one of them is running for U.S. Senate.

Senate seats don't often come up for grabs, but with the retirement of Democrat Barbara Boxer, who has held the seat for 24 years, seemingly every resident over age 30 who can cough up the $3,480 filing fee — or 10,000 signatures — is taking a shot.

The front-runner is Democratic state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who will probably face Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez in the general election. In California, it's an open primary for Senate and the top two finishers face off on November regardless of party affiliation.

But enough about that. It's the other contenders running for Senate who blow the mind. Of the 34 on the ballot, 20 have submitted statements.

Sure, there are a few serious candidates, along with some longshots who seem like nice people.

Then there are the dozen or so who bring a certain political je ne sais quoi that you can only find in the land of fruits and nuts.

Here are a few of the people running for the United States Senate from the great state of California.

Pamela Elizondo, Green Party

Elizondo said this is her 13th campaign for office. It's not clear she's ever won. Elizondo lays out her views in an hour long video on Vimeo, where she said she wants to stop all spending on everything from defense to highways. Her primary economic goal is to legalize marijuana to "save our Earth financially." She spoke specifically of a type of cannabis toilet that doesn't require water "or no hole-in-the-ground septic system." The sales of such a toilet could bring in "many billions of dollars, probably much more."

Massie Munroe, Democrat

Like many candidates Munroe wants to get rid of the Federal Reserve. She'd like to replace it with a Citizens Bank subjected to regular audits "and will be charged with creating Government Created Money." Some of that created money will pay down the debt, (which was created by the original "created money").

But Munroe's platform doesn't end there. She's also making it a priority to end "directed, targeted and extremely painful directed electromagnetic radiation for the purpose of human behavior modification, cognitive mind control, and nonconsensual human experimentation."

Ling Ling Shi, no party preference

"Run for God's Heart and America's Freedom, challenge 10 giant chaos in economy and economy-related sectors," reads Ling Ling Shi's voter statement. She also provides a link to something called the Wells Ark center, which appears to be a career training and religious site. On the site she sells an e-book called "Build an American ARK, the Strategy and Method for U.S. Economic Revival," which "will bring you on a tour from spiritual realm to physical realm to reveal the hope of revival in the U.S.A., to explore the new era's economic strategy and method to overcome the crises, to turn the economic chaos to cosmos!" She has also posted videos performing religious songs she composed.

Von Hougo, Republican

Hougo is a teacher with tech in mind. He's running what he calls a "donation free campaign" to take you to Washington with him. "As your U.S. Senator, I will work with California-based tech companies to develop a voter-driven platform that allows you to voice your opinion on every Bill before the Senate," Hougo writes. "I will vote in the Senate based on the majority vote of Californians-every single time." That way, you decide for him. Along similar lines ...

Jason Hanania, no party preference

Hanania is running as an "Evoting Candidate" bent on "Re-Engineering Democracy." Hanania said Evoting Candidates represent no political party, do not accept donations, and agree to use the Evoting Service.

"The Evoting Service is an electronic voting software system-owned and controlled by the American People. If an Evoting Candidate gets elected, they become an Evoting Congressman. Through the Evoting Service, Evoting Congressmen do exactly what the American People tell them to do."

Mike Beitiks, no party preference

Beitiks sees a world of trouble. "ISIS. Immigration reform. The NSA. Gun control. The end of the two-party system as we know it," he writes on his campaign site. "What do all of these terrifying issues for the 2016 election have in common? None of them matter because we're all going to die." Climate change is killing us, says Beitiks, who adds, "I swear on the graves of future Californians that I will not sacrifice our actual climate to our political climate."

Beitiks doesn't say how he pays the bills, but he did list some of his qualifications for office: "I am willing to make mistakes. Huge Mistakes," and, "I am ready to risk assassination attempts from corporate henchmen, misguided populists, shortsighted libertarians, cult leaders, and lobbyists of every industry modern society was built upon as I implement wildly unpopular policies."

Tim Gildersleeve, no party preference

Gildersleeve said he's running for Senate because, as a Christian, he wants to follow the Golden Rule to love thy neighbor as thyself. Gildersleeve admits in a campaign video that "the odds are against me," but said his ulterior motive is to gain name recognition. "I intend to run for other offices as they become open and available."


President Cristina Grappo, Democrat

Why be a Senator when you're already President? Cristina Grappo declared herself as such, pitching herself to prospective voters with, "I am mainstream Facebook in social media!" (We're not sure what that means.) She has no campaign website listed, just a P.O. box in Alameda. However, we did find a Facebook page where she has, in fact, revealed she is the 45th president of the United States.

Who knew?