Apr 11, 2024 - News

未 "Richmond's Dr. Fauci" runs for mayor

A picture of Danny Avula wearing a suit with a turquoise tie and smiling in front of a blurred background.

Danny Avula. Photo: Courtesy of Frankie James Photography

Danny Avula is running to be Richmond's mayor.

Why it matters: If he wins, he would be the city's first immigrant mayor.

The big picture: Avula, a pediatrician, became known as "Richmond's Dr. Fauci" during the COVID-19 pandemic. His focus on health disparities as director of the local health districts prompted Gov. Northam to tap him to run Virginia's vaccination campaign.

  • This made the Church Hill resident and father of five one of the most watched faces in the state.
  • In 2022, Gov. Youngkin appointed him commissioner of the Department of Social Services. His last day was Tuesday.

In an interview Wednesday, Avula told Axios that "the opportunity to lead and manage through crisis has really prepared me for a role like this where, again, the city has so much opportunity. But there's a lot that needs to be addressed."

Among his priorities if elected:

  • Building public trust of City Hall and improving how it's run.
  • Increasing the affordable housing stock without losing residents.
  • Safety and accessibility in communities.
  • Access to health care.

What's next: Avula joins a race with five declared candidates, including 1st District City Councilman Andreas Addison and Michelle Mosby, a former City Council president.

Go deeper: The Richmond mayoral candidates

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