Former Richmond mayor Leonidas Young announces candidacy for Delegate Joe Morrissey’s seat

Leonidas Young announces his candidacy for Delegate Joe Morrissey's seat in the House on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Former Richmond mayor and ex-convict Leonidas Young announced Tuesday that he is running to replace a Virginia lawmaker who was jailed after a sex scandal involving a teenager.

Young announced his candidacy for the House of Delegates seat occupied by Del. Joseph Morrissey… while at Morrissey’s law office Tuesday morning.

Young said Morrissey has supported his efforts to return to public office. Although Morrissey has not revealed his future political plans, Young says he and Morrissey will announce his future plans as well as their “alliance” in the next 10 days.

The ordained Baptist minister was convicted on fraud charges in 1999. He served as Richmond mayor from 1994 through June 1996. When asked about his criminal past, Young said, “I’m older, I’m wiser. There are lessons you can only learn through experience.”

Young also said that it’s no accident that he’s here. He said that the 74th district is “an example of a district where people understand and are willing to forgive and trust.”

Meanwhile, the young woman at the center of Morrissey’s two criminal cases gave birth to a baby boy recently.

Morrissey was released from jail last week after completing a sentence for a misdemeanor. The 57-year-old lawmaker pleaded no contest in December 2014 to contributing to the delinquency of a minor in a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old girl.

He faces an April 28 trial on charges of forging a document that purportedly shows the girl’s father had agreed to pay $50 a week into her college fund.

Stay with 8News for the latest on this developing story.

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