I’m 0-1 in any type of public endorsement, but I believe that events have proven that I was essentially correct. With that out there, I have had the opportunity meet many of the folks running for office this season in Richmond and I have developed some opinions about them…
- ★ Two of the best candidates for any local office are running for the 7th District School Board seat: Torey Edmonds and Don Coleman. If they were one person, I’d want that person for mayor. Edmonds is well versed in local services and how things work in the system. She is very smart and dedicated to the community. Coleman has the proven ability to harness people’s desire to get involved to affect social change in the community, and has strong personal ties to the schools in the 7th District. Being able to tie one of them to the service of the public schools for the next four years will be a win for the district and for RPS.
- ★ Delores McQuinn is the incumbent council rep for the 7th District and past school board rep for the area. She has broad support and for a good reason. She has been slowed recently by medical issues, but she has the pulse of the entire neighborhood. Some folks are tripped out by her reverendness and/or what they see as being beholden to the Black voters; I understand the first item somewhat, the 2nd says more about the complainant than McQuinn. She knows what is going on in the area and is a calm mediator between factions in the neighborhood and between city council and the mayor.
- ★ Robert Grey is the only mayoral candidate that I have ever just happened to see out (in Carytown, of course). He is also the only one of the mayoral candidates that I have seen north of Venable Street. Very few people seem comfortable in both of these places. In person, he is calm and professional. I believe that he would continue the pieces of good work from the Wilder administration — accountability, increased focus on communities, seeking more improvement from the schools. His mother was a school principal and that is just awesome.
- Bill Pantele reads as being joined at the wallet with developers and their friends. I’ve not met Pantele but I have heard first-hand too much about his fundraisers and the checks that he collects. I would very much like to not see a Mayor Pantele.
- Dwight Jones has state level experience but was against Richmond getting an elected mayor. At one of the mayoral debates he made ill-informed statements about SOLs and teachers “teaching to the test”. He feels like a politician through and through. I’d rather see Jones elected than Pantele, though.
- Paul Goldman is smart, but rather weird. I would like for another candidate to promise to hire Mr.Goldman.
- I found the one extant Williams for mayor sign left along Mosby Street after the back-to-school rally and, like his candidacy, it only confuses me. “Freedom first, block by block”. WTF does that mean?