While the role of the president is often associated with fame, honors, and prestige, Gabriel Cornejo, a 2024 Democratic presidential candidate, is relatively unknown. Although he does not come from a wealthy or well-known family like some of his peers, Cornejo is working to become a president that the average American citizen can relate to.
Cornejo started his professional career working on the nation’s largest smart meter project, measuring and recording energy consumption. Despite his success in this industry, Cornejo was feeling a lack of fulfillment in his career. Cornejo never felt a compelling call to change this until he endured a life-threatening accident. While driving from Orange County, Calif. to San Diego, the convertible he was driving was hit by another vehicle, causing his car to roll over several times, resulting in him being life-flighted to the hospital.
“You can imagine what that does to a person… to understand your mortality,” Cornejo recalls. “I wanted to pursue things that were going to improve the lives of my family, my friends, and my community.”
Since that moment, Cornejo has worked to make life more fulfilling today, without the promise of tomorrow. MyBeeble was the first step of this initiative. This site – created in 2013 – is a unique collaboration of consumerism and social networking that works to achieve fulfillment at a quicker rate. Cornejo explains this concept with an example, “say you are a cycling enthusiast, you buy a [bike] part… wouldn’t it make sense to also be informed about races and clubs in the area?” This company was the start of Cornejo’s experience as an entrepreneur and furthered his capabilities as a leader.
Cornejo is running his campaign under the premise of relatability. He pointed out the connection that he has to a usual person rather than some of the larger candidates in this election. Cornejo believes that this will come to his advantage. In a post on social media, Cornejo claimed, “I have twice the experience than they [Trump and Biden] do in knowing what it’s like to be the average American.” Cornejo explains that while there are popular candidates who are favored to win, they have minimal experience or are out of touch with what being a common person is like, which is a strength that Cornejo prides himself on.
Cornejo’s best friend with whom he went to Northern Arizona University, explains that it was not much of a shock when Cornejo announced that he was running for president. Dean Read says, “He has always been involved in politics by following them,” says Read. “It was always a goal for him to be a senator – president was just a bigger leap.” Though Cornejo has no prior political experience, he is no stranger to leadership positions with his experience as an entrepreneur and his outgoing personality.
“People are so divided right now in society.” Read said. “He can just go out there and talk to anybody no matter what their view is or what their belief is.”
Unfortunately, Cornejo started his campaign later than he would have liked due to external situations in his personal life. While he acknowledges this, he is dedicated and excited to see what the future of his campaign holds.
When it comes to his policies, Cornejo recognizes the following affairs as his main interests if elected to office.
- Ending Political Corruption: Throughout the entirety of his campaign, Cornejo has not accepted any donations or funding from political action committees. This means that Cornejo is running for himself, by himself. He values authenticity when promoting his policies.
- Healthcare-For-All: According to Cornejo’s campaign website, “Healthcare is a RIGHT—the privilege of a society that values one another. Every fully developed country has established healthcare as a right.” Cornejo argues that everyone gets sick and injured, hence the necessity for accessible healthcare.
- Freedom Dividend: Cornejo plans to operate the country like a business. His theory on his website explains that if everyone is motivated, the economy will reap the benefits. This plan includes a steady $1,000 a month for every person above 18 to spend, this will increase demand in business hence requiring more employees.
With big-name presidential candidates on both sides, it is easy to question Cornejo’s decision to run for the Oval Office, especially when the winner is likely to be a name you are familiar with. Vincent Conti, a Democratic congressman from New Jersey, spoke about the importance of a wide variety of candidates for democracy. “America is all about choice,” Conti said. “I think having a choice is how people can figure out who their best candidate is to support.”
Conti also elaborated on the characteristics of Cornejo, specifically one of the selling points of his campaign: relatability. “I think it’s very important,” Conti explained. “When you have people out there that don’t understand where you’re coming from… how are they going to figure out what’s best for the people if they’ve never experienced the things the people experience?”
Regarding Cornejo’s political experience, Conti explained that Cornejo’s lack of a political background might be beneficial if elected to office. “When you have a political background you are so tuned to ‘We have to do it that way because it’s politics’ as opposed to just doing what is right.”
“Maybe a person with a fresh perspective may be the right person for the job,” Conti said.
The slogan of Cornejo’s campaign is “Renovate America.” He states, “I’m not the guy that needs to be the center of attention but I do like and take pride in being the one to bring people together.” The unity of the American people is the first part of this renovation process.
To learn more about Gabriel Cornejo and his policies, check out his website here