Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The race for Richmond's mayor provides laughs, seriousness to the city's long-standing problems

Richmond, Va. has its share of issues that don't seem to get resolved, just like any other city. Lately, the seemingly cash-strapped city has decided to close many of its schools - mainly in poor, under served areas. Its mayor has come under fire for being a preacher on Sundays and a 'part-time' mayor the other days of the week; potholes are rampant, aggressive parking ticket writing (the city's cash cow) is the norm, and crime is off the charts.  (See also: No July 4th fireworks).

Richmond mayoral candidate Michelle Mosby speaks at mayoral candidate forum Wednesday evening in Richmond.
"We need a strong leader in Richmond", said Chad Ingold a teacher at Richmond's Open High (no pun intended) high school, running for mayor.

 A mayoral forum hosted last night at Virginia Union University's Coburn Hall by former Richmond mayor (and governor) Douglas L. Wilder showcased twelve candidates for the mayoral position that included representative Joe Morrissey who just wants a job, somewhere, anywhere.

Morrissey was charged with having improper relations with a teen who worked in his office. Morrissey served 6 months in prison. At the mayoral forum Morrissey, while making a pitch for why the city's residents should vote for him, stuck his foot in his mouth when the former high school teacher and coach said, "I engage with students."

His comment drew laughter (and further skepticism) from the attendees.  Watch here.

Before the gaffe, Morrissey said the following, "The next mayor has to realize the following: Any municipality has to do four things. You've got to protect your citizenry - police, fire protection, first responders. You have to have a school system where you don't have 17 out of 45 schools accredited and the others not accredited. That's a disgrace."   (Official mayoral forum transcript here.)

Morrissey isn't the only embattled Richmond politician of recent memory.  In 2015 then-governor Bob McDonnell was sentenced to prison for accepting gifts from a wealthy business owner.

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