California activist Marietta Stow began her newspaper “The Woman's Herald of Industry and Social Science Cooperator” in 1881. She was driven by the belief that however sympathetic a man might be, women needed to be represented by their own party and their own candidate. Accordingly in 1884 she established the “Equal Rights Party” and chose Abigail Scott Duniway to be its Presidential candidate and considered attorney Clara Shortridge Foltz as her possible running mate. When Duniway declined, believing that the prospect of a woman running for higher office detracted from the larger issues involving women's rights, Stow turned to Lockwood as her next choice.
Lockwood accepted and later asked Stow to be her running mate. After the election, Lockwood became editor of the paper that Stow had started and renamed it “National Equal Rights,” using for its masthead the image of the American Flag placed upon the globe, which she had employed previously in her campaign literature.