A recent poll shows Joe Morrissey leading Richmond’s mayoral contest with 29% of the vote and leading in 6 of the 9 districts in the city (3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th). The other candidates are running for 2nd place and hoping that 2 districts can be flipped to force a run-off.
It is undeniable that Morrissey has a tremendous base of support in majority black communities across Richmond, from the East End to the Brookland Park corridor and into Southside.
These are communities that carry the weight for the rest of the city, communities that have not been participants in the city’s recent resurgence of the past 5 or 6 years. If anything, the growth of RVA has only brought the rising rents of gentrification and a threat of displacement, without much in the way of benefits.
These communities that so strongly support Joe Morrissey don’t seem concerned by what others see as his personal baggage. This may even be seen as a strength.
In the East End at least, these are communities that can be dubious of any big plans to remake parts of the community. I’ve seen this manifest in different ways over the years, from skepticism around the planning for the new MLK Middle School to distrust over the intent of the planned Creighton redevelopment.
These are communities where the neighborhood schools are not optional. Other candidates lofty education plans aren’t going to connect here.
As unbelievable as it might seem to much of the city, Morrissey’s candidacy has been embraced by a large swath of Richmond. These communities are saying loudly that they see Morrissey as a man who would be their mayor.
Whatever your personal opinions of Morrissey may be, it would be fantastic for our city to have a man in office who is beholden to Brauers and Peter Paul and Whitcomb and Fulton.