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It comes down to Stoney vs Morrissey for mayor

PHOTOS Levar Stoney by Scott Elmquist (Style Weekly) / Joe Morrissey from his recent mailer

While I have had my initial impression of Jack Berry turned by conversation with supporters of his in the area, the mayoral election in the 7th District comes down to a considered choice between voting for Joe Morrissey or Levar Stoney.

The key factor is this: a mayoral candidate has to win a majority in 5 of the 9 districts to win outright, or we get a run-off election in December between the 2 candidates who received the most votes. With the most recent poll showing Morrissey leading in 5 districts (including the 7th), there is a very real chance that Joe Morrissey wins outright on Tuesday.

Here in the 7th District, Stoney is running second and Berry in third place. While Berry has an office on 25th Street, Stoney has been much more actively been courting Morrissey voters up here, and has the endorsement and support of the local Democratic Party. To be blunt – Berry does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the 7th District. Levar Stoney, though, could take this one away from Joe Morrissey and help force a run-off.

Come Tuesday, you are either voting for Morrissey to win the 7th, voting for Stoney to win the 7th, or voting for someone else and hoping that the 3rd District prevents Morrissey from winning outright.


Catherine Illian 11/02/2016 at 8:40 PM

And this is why I’m voting for Stoney all the way!

Jomo 11/03/2016 at 12:01 AM

this is inaccurate, Berry and Stoney are effectively tied (within margin of error) in the 7th. Whether or not Stoney is the best choice, this post shouldn’t just state Stoney as the most promising challenger in our district.

Liz 11/03/2016 at 7:12 AM

Agree with Jomo. Berry is a contender and a better choice than the two of these men.

John M 11/03/2016 at 7:31 AM

@Liz – Not arguing the merits of any of the candidates, just looking at the lay of the land. I’m sure that Berry would be a fine mayor. Point above being that Berry can’t win the 7th District, and that Stoney might – or barring that, Joe Morrissey certainly will.

Liz 11/03/2016 at 7:45 AM

That is probably true. I would go for Stoney before Morrissey and can only hope that Morrissey does not win. That thought just scares me.

Matt 11/03/2016 at 8:20 AM

I don’t see how you can fairly headline or conclude this article the way you did. You may well be right that a vote for Stoney is a strategic necessity to avoid Morrissey, but I don’t see how the facts support such a categorical claim. Especially not with 29% of the 7th district reporting as undecided/not leaning in the referenced poll. Unfortunately this strikes me as an endorsement of Stoney rather than an unbiased assessment of what voters in the 7th need to do.

ray 11/03/2016 at 9:18 AM

Says here that Baliles voters are more likely to go for Berry.

Mark Robinson ?@__MarkRobinson · 13h13 hours ago

. @RARealtors head Laura Lafayette says their polling shows 3/5 Baliles voters pick Berry as their second choice. #rvamayor

Jason S 11/03/2016 at 9:27 AM

Stoney is the best candidate for the East End, in my opinion.

Jason S 11/03/2016 at 9:34 AM

The Richmond Association of Realtors is Berry’s top donor, it doesn’t surprise me that they would issue that statement.

That same group even put out a “poll” saying Berry is at 36% in the third district.

Doesn’t pass my smell test, but such is politics.

Clay Street 11/03/2016 at 10:01 AM

The 7th isn’t just Church Hill, ya know.
Take a drive through Fulton & Montrose. Almost zero Berry signs. One or two Baliles signs. The rest are split between Morrissey and Stoney.

Cog 11/03/2016 at 10:21 AM

John is right on here. Berry’s support is particularly weak in the East End. Baliles supporters in Church Hill will never go to Berry because of the shrill level of emotional heights they reached over Shockoe.

The Realtors polls are all push polls. They should be embarrassed.

ray 11/03/2016 at 10:29 AM

Jason S,

It’s fair to question any poll sponsored by an organization — I get that.

So, I ask of JOHN M:

Aren’t you using in this post the poll that was paid for by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce? Is that a good poll? I mean, I read their poll was conducted by a local marketing firm and not a professional political polling firm. Can we really put any faith in these numbers you are citing? And, does the Chamber have an agenda in this? Do they want to help Berry because many of their members support him? Or do they want to help Stoney because they want some favors from Governor McAuliffe?

parkgirl 11/03/2016 at 10:30 AM

I find a few things frustrating in this comments section

Why is it certain people are not seeing Levar Stoney for who he is? A young, smart ,accomplished and energetic leader. Why is it so easy for folks to belittle his resume and make it all about his donors list? And honestly, who cares what he did when he was 22? There’s a reason they don’t let teenagers and young adults run for president. Because young people do dumb shit. And that’s how we learn. Let any of you without an embarrassment in your past be the first to cast stones.

How can you not see that Berry equally has questionable ties, if that’s your argument? I picture him taking naked baths in the basement of the Commonwealth Club with his friends from Altria and Dominion (the people who really run this city). This guy used to be the president of the Willow Oaks Country Club! A country club where you go to separate yourself by wealth and race and gender (check out their men’s only grill). And another argument against Berry – how can you say that you have done work with the City of Richmond for 30 plus years and not have more of the black vote? Maybe because you never bothered to get to know that 50% of our population?

If both Morrissey and Berry have been working in this city for 30 plus years, then how is Levar ( a relative newcomer) giving them such a run for their money? Maybe because they are riding on name recognition and connections and maybe he is a superstar. Maybe we should all give him a chance to shine? Because those other two have had 30 years to make things better around here, in one aspect or another, and they haven’t succeeded for a lot of us.

DerekW 11/03/2016 at 10:36 AM

Anyone who would vote for Morrissey has no morals and no conscious! It is that simple. (regardless of strategy or any other reasoning)

Drew 11/03/2016 at 10:41 AM

@parkgirl – Well said!

mary 11/03/2016 at 10:43 AM

Seems our part of Richmond’s not just a food desert (an urban area in which it is difficult to get good-quality fresh food). It’s an ethical candidate desert as well.

Ben G 11/03/2016 at 11:05 AM

Stoney is by far the best choice for the Eats End, in my opinion. Morrissey, popular as he is, has already drawn embarrassing national headlines, and I don’t want Richmond to lose momentum due to having a laughingstock mayor.

Anoali1902 11/03/2016 at 11:08 AM

I agree with what Wilder said. I don’t think that none of these mayors will put Richmond in the right direction. Everyone is so scared that Morrissey is going to win, what everyone should be concerned about is the rising crime rates in this city. What candidate is going to tackle that issue. I don’t think that Richmond is going to go back to the way crime was in 1999-2003, but what if it does?I don’t trust Stoney or Morrissey, but I do understand why people would vote for them, but can anybody answer my question on what’s their plan for the rising crime rates? The only mayor that I’ve ever seen who reduced crime is this city was Wilder when he hired Rodney Monroe, and Dwight Jones continued his policies to a degree, but since he only has a few months left in office, it seems that the mayor only cares about his new church, while crime has skyrocketed.

Tim Baskerville 11/03/2016 at 11:48 AM

Morrissey DOES NOT HAVE the support or endorsement of The Richmond Democratic Committee. A “cease and desist” request was sent to his campaign by the RDC to stop sending sample ballot mailers or any other campaign materials which suggest that he has. Legal actions against Mr. Morrissey’s campaign may ensue if he ignores this request. The author of this article should immediately retract statements suggesting that Morrissey, who is registered as an Independent and who is not affiliated with the Democratic Party, has Democratic support/endorsement.

John M 11/03/2016 at 12:03 PM

@Tim – nowhere in the post does it say that Morrissey has the Democratic endorsement.

Anoali1902 11/03/2016 at 12:13 PM

@Tim Baskerville What article are you reading? This article never said that.

mary 11/03/2016 at 12:14 PM Reply
B. Mac 11/03/2016 at 12:50 PM

Simply put, there are’t enough Republicans to give Berry the win over Morrissey. No progressive is going to vote for Berry. I like Stoney, his energy and his intelligence and his vision for a redefinition of the way government should work.

G. 11/03/2016 at 1:02 PM

@ 18 parkgirl

Maybe some of your frustration is rooted in naiveté…all I can say is Levar Stoney “has no clothes” – he may have a lot of funding, but no “clothes” (hope you can figure it out)

ray 11/03/2016 at 3:51 PM

The progressive Richmond Free Press, the city’s primary African American oriented newspaper, endorsed Jack Berry for Mayor today.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Cog 11/03/2016 at 4:30 PM

@ray an editor at the Free Press with ties to the Venture Richmond 2nd Street Festival put a finger on the scale for Jack.

bill 11/03/2016 at 4:36 PM

@33 my first thought is that the RFP endorsement was likely a cheap date for jack bobb berry, the insider’s water boy.

polh 11/03/2016 at 5:11 PM

I see it as the their final “f*ck you” to Mayor Jones

BAF 11/03/2016 at 5:19 PM

I’m not worried if the mayor is a progressive or not. Given the state of the city, ideology is a secondary concern at best. I’m worried about whether the next mayor will be competent and have the management skills to fix a broken city government. The city management is a dumpster fire and almost no one is well served.

Levar has no experience at managing anything like this. All the progressive ideals in the world won’t matter if he can’t get the CAFR filed on time and the streets and schools fixed in a way that doesn’t tax us all into oblivion. Morrissey appears to be a dangerous sociopath in my view. He cannot be allowed near the levers of power.

Berry is the most qualified but seems completely out of touch with anyone who doesn’t live on Monument Avenue or in Windsor Farms. He is also hampered by the Rube Goldberg electoral college system the city has, which creates a real conundrum for 7th District voters.

My vote will be for Berry, because he is the best of a terrible set of choices. He’s out of touch and beholden to the other end of the City, but he is the only candidate with the skills and experience to flush out City Hall. And given the current condition of City government, that experience trumps (not Trumps) any ideological preferences.

ray 11/03/2016 at 6:22 PM

#34 Cog

That’s an interesting tale. So you’re going with a Trump line that the fix was in — that the Richmond Free Press was bought off? That’s a pretty scurrilous charge you’re making there.

crd 11/03/2016 at 7:17 PM

@38 I don’t see that as scurrilous, it’s probably the truth (I honestly don’t know) – but the Free Press would want to support the 2 St. Festival, promoted by Venture Richmond which employed Berry until pretty recently.

@37 I understand your logic but am not sure that Berry will clean house the way it should happen. And he’s obviously in favor of publicly funded stadiums, but so is Stoney.

ray 11/03/2016 at 7:53 PM

#40 crd

So how would you “clean house the way it should happen”?

Hey 11/03/2016 at 8:15 PM

I’m remain perplexed that people seem to not question WHERE HAS STONEY BEEN FOR 12 years in Richmond ?! What is his cause and motivational factor(s)? Something doesn’t “smell right” about he. He presents as a rehearsed political robot aka Manchurin Candidate. I can not with confidence and a contractile lens believe that he is honestly committed to the folks and issues in Richmond. Stoney will probably be a surrogate for the McAuliffe adminstation. He is playing a game of chess and our city is just one piece to get him to DC. Stoney is not committed to Richmond or else we all would have seen him ” in this streets” for the last 12 years working on local issues that impact Richmonder everyday. Please do not be fooled by his fitted suits and structured empty talking points.

Hey 11/03/2016 at 8:25 PM

Typo corrections. Darn “smart phones”

* critical not contractile

Scott 11/04/2016 at 1:21 AM

Warning: Jack Berry cannot be trusted. He will say anything to get elected, but he has a long track record of putting corporate interests above citizen concerns and supporting the corporate welfare boondoggles that have kept money and attention from our schools and neighborhoods, going all the way back to 6th Street Marketplace. He has broken promises to community and government. If we do go to a runoff election where Morrissey and Berry are the only choices, I will vote Morrissey without hesitation. Blame the ‘business community’ that backs Berry if that happens.

I am not enthralled about any of the candidates, but ‘park girl”s comment resonates strongly.

crd 11/04/2016 at 1:03 PM

Stoney told someone at a forum that he thinks publicly funded stadiums are good for economic development, and Berry is owned/beholden/indebted to corporate interests, I cannot vote for either of those people.

That boils down to…. someone who will clean house at city hall, which is what we need. The Director of Public Works is a high up in Jones’ s church; he needs to go.

I’ve heard that there will be a DUI checkpoint in the city hall parking deck as one way to get rid of a few people.

BAF 11/04/2016 at 6:09 PM

@Scott. We get it. You think Berry can’t be trusted. You’ve only said it a million and two times at this point…

ray 11/05/2016 at 11:34 AM

So Baliles today endorsed Stoney.

Anyone have any thought on this?

crd 11/05/2016 at 2:07 PM

@52 I don’t like Stoney since he said that he believes that publicly funded stadiums are good for economic development. I suspect Baliles did that endorsement as a way of taking votes from Morrissey, though.

I just can’t see Stoney having the experience or knowledge to do the job. First thing that needs to happen is getting rid of some people at city hall, which Baliles knew but I’m not sure Stoney does.

crd 11/05/2016 at 2:23 PM

To clarify, Baliles said he dropped out to try to keep Morrissey from winning; hence his endorsement of Stoney, who is the only other candidate that is viable at this point.

Farid Alan Schintzius 11/06/2016 at 10:45 PM

So proud of Jon Baliles & Levar Stoney forming a coalition…. and prouder of RVA that has people willing to make decisions on what is the best for all of Richmond.
See for Yourself,,, Watch the video of their coming together

M.H. 11/07/2016 at 2:45 PM

To the gents who think Berry is marginally close to Levar, you should perhaps go back to grade school and take a few math class.

Arithmetic is your friend!

ECP 11/07/2016 at 3:29 PM

Will get ready for a Morrissey administration…..if you don’t understand Richmond and it’s history then you won’t understand why Morrissey will win….e is the only one addressing poverty and he will fully fund our schools……


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