In 1969, Campbell worked in Vancouver for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was from 1973 to the narcotics investigation. From 1981 to 1996, he worked in the Forensic Medicine of the district Vancouver, then to 2000 as chief coroner (chief coroner ) of British Columbia. He was elected as a candidate of the center- left Coalition of Progressive Electors party for mayor of Vancouver in 2002.
His election victory was attributed to his charismatic and dazzling personality. His previous work as a municipal coroner served as a model for the successful CBC television series Da Vinci 's Inquest. Campbell, who usually appears in public with fedora hat and long coat, was perceived by many voters as the complete opposite of his predecessor, Philip Owen, who had a stiff and boring image.
Campbell had a referendum result in the issue of whether Vancouver should host the 2010 Winter Olympics. He was of the view that the Gordon Campbell (no relation to him) led provincial government should not decide alone about but also that the citizens of the city are likely to express their opinion. On 22 February 2002, 63.9 % of voters were in the non-legally binding referendum for the implementation of the Olympic Winter Games from. Campbell, who was initially critical of, changed camp and supported during the voting campaign actively template. This earned him the accusation that he may judge his political action only after the current majority opinion from.
The politically tending to the center Campbell fell out with the left-wing members of COPE and resigned from the party. Together with three City Council Members 2005 he founded the party Vision Vancouver. A few months before the elections for mayor, he announced not to run for a second term. August 2, 2005 Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed him to the proposal of Governor General Adrienne Clarkson senator. In the Senate, Campbell is a member of the Liberal Party.