Nov 30, 2023 - Politics

Who’s thinking about running for mayor in Richmond

Illustration of a ballot box and question mark sticker.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

The field of potential mayoral candidates is starting to take shape in Richmond.

Why it matters: With the election less than a year away and Mayor Stoney term-limited and eyeing the Executive Mansion, the field is still wide open.

What's happening: So far, three current and former members of City Council are weighing runs or have announced campaigns.

  • Michelle Mosby, who represented south Richmond on City Council between 2016 and 2020, filed initial campaign paperwork more than a year ago.
  • Current West End Councilman Andreas Addison, who is wrapping up his second term, says he's thinking about it.
  • And longtime Northside councilman Chris Hilbert, who served from 2004 to 2021, is rumored to be planning a run.

Worth noting: We can also cross one name off the list of potential candidates.

  • Jeff Bourne, who served on the city school board before serving three terms representing the city in the General Assembly, had been publicly considering jumping in the race. As one of the most well-known potential candidates, he would have entered the race as a presumptive frontrunner.
  • He told Axios this week he's decided against it so he can continue focusing on his family life.

Zoom in: Mosby has been actively campaigning around the city for months at civic association meetings and other events and already snagged an endorsement from outgoing City Council President Mike Jones.

  • Mosby also ran for mayor in 2016, coming in fourth in the crowded field with 5.8% of the vote. She owns a hair salon, works as a real estate agent and is the founder of a nonprofit that has been working with the city on gun violence prevention.
  • She told Axios she is planning a formal announcement of her candidacy in late January.

Addison, who owns a gym in Scott's Addition, told Axios he's still considering whether to run.

Hilbert did not respond to a message seeking comment, but three sources said he has been approaching prominent city residents seeking support for a campaign.

Of note: Two potential candidates with no prior elected experience have also filed paperwork to run:

  • Garrett Sawyer, an HR consultant, who unsuccessfully ran to represent the city's 5th District on City Council in 2016.
  • And Maurice Neblett, who sued the city in 2015 alleging a gang of police officers entered his home and pummeled him while executing a search warrant for marijuana, which they did not find.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that Councilman Andreas Addison is finishing his second term, not his first.

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