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Ralph Nader talks to NBC's Meet the Press host Tim Russert in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. ((Meet The Press/Alex Wong/Associated Press))

Ralph Nader named former San Francisco mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez on Thursday as his running mate in the longtime consumer advocate's latest bid for the U.S. presidency.

Nader, who announced Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press that he is running as an Independent candidate, said most Americans are disenchanted with both the Democratic and Republican parties. He said he joined the race because the top contenders have become too corporate.

"I want someone who shares my sense of justice and opposition to corporate state control over our society," Nader said Thursday at a news conference announcing his choice.

The Texas-born Gonzalez, a graduate of Stanford University Law School, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of San Francisco as a Green Party of the United States candidate in 2003. He also served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

"I have no illusions about what's happening here today," Gonzalez said. "But let me also say that I've never entered a political contest with the idea that it couldn't be won."

Nader, 73, also ran as a third-party candidate in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

He is still loathed by many Democrats, who call him a spoiler and claim his candidacy in 2000 cost their nominee, Al Gore, the White House because it siphoned away votes in the razor-thin contest in Florida.

In 2000, Nader received 2.7 per cent of the national vote as the Green candidate. His tally dropped to just 0.3 per cent as an Independent in 2004, when he appeared on the ballot in only 34 states.

With files from the Associated Press