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Perennial candidate Bagley dies
A likeness of the quirky Keyes candidate Hugh Bagley appeared on a spoof bill for his 1982 candidacy for governor of California. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Hugh Bagley, a colorful Keyes resident for many years who repeatedly ran unsuccessful candidacies for governor of California, died on June 18 in Hughson.

Friends and family gathered Sunday at Crane Park in Turlock for a Celebration of Life.

Hugh was born August 13, 1931 in La Grange, Ga., one of 10 children born to E.J. and Erin Bagley. When he was 19 he hitchhiked to Seaside, where he met his future wife Bobbi. Between 1960 and 1976 Mr. Bagley ran for Monterey County Sheriff and twice for mayor of Seaside. In the late 1970s he ran for mayor of Phenix City, Ala.

In 1978 he settled in Keyes where he headquartered his low-key 1982 campaign run for governor. As a flea market operator, Bagley also ran as a write-in candidate for president in 1984, campaigning on the theme of annexing Mexico to the United States. The Associated Press reported that while Bagley was one of 30 candidates listed on the New Hampshire Democratic presidential ballot, was arrested in Keyes on a Tulare County warrant charging him with contempt of court and six traffic citations. He received 52 votes in New Hampshire.

He also ran for president in 1988 and 2008.

During Bagley's 1986 campaign for governor he earned 140,000 votes, or 6.5 percent, during the Democratic primary, taking second place behind Tom Bradley, then the Mayor of Los Angeles, who amassed 81 percent of the vote.
After 50 years of campaigning Hugh stated that he would only quit if he came in last, but he never did.

Bagley was a familiar face at the Turlock Poker Room where he spent a lot of his spare time.

He leaves behind six children, Patrick Bagley, 63, of Oregon, Deborah Ridley, 60, of Oregon, Mitzi Routier, 55, of Utah, and Krystal Russell, Gina Shaw and Darryl Bagley, all of California; sister Nannette Miller of Augusta, Ga.; and 19 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Barbara "Bobbi" Bagley.