RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Having logged countless hours inside city council chambers, it’s what Jon Baliles has seen on the outside that propelled him to run for mayor of Richmond.
“Most of the people in this city have lost trust in city hall,” Baliles told 8News. “There are very few people whose doors I’ve knocked on who are fans of the current mayor.”
“I love this city and I’ve seen it from the inside. I know we can make city government work for everybody, not just a few people.”
Baliles is a believer that smarth growth in Richmond starts with the people who live and work in the city.
“Our mayor has been a top-down mayor,” Baliles said. “He and his allies have said, ‘here are our options, we’re going to force them on you whether you like it or not.’ It happened with the Redskins, Shockoe … we’ve got to get beyond that.”
Baliles highlighted transportation, education and fiscal responsibility and his top priorities.
“I know I listen to people. I like to include other people because I know I’m not the smartest guy in the room,” Baliles said.
Baliles serves Richmond’s 1st District. He takes credit for finding additional money for schools during budget talks last year.
“I’ve maintained my independence because I’m not beholden to anybody,” Baliles added.
With just days left before the election, the council rep says he’s staying focused on the issues that matter to voters in Richmond.
“I’m not worried about what pundits say or commentators,” Baliles said. “I’m worried about getting out hitting the streets, knocking on doors and making sure people know our message.”
For more mayoral candidate profiles, click here.