RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Posted elections results show that Richmond’s next mayor will be former Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney.
Results posted on Richmond’s website late Wednesday showed Stoney with 35,525 votes. The second highest vote getter was Jack Berry, the former leader of an economic development organization. He received 33,447 votes.
8News’ Tracey Smith reports that Berry called Stoney Wednesday evening to concede the election.
Stoney’s victory belied polls during the campaign that favored disgraced former state lawmaker Joe Morrissey, who was jailed last year on charges he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. He got 20,995 votes, making him a distant third.
Stoney claimed victory following a count of the city’s absentee ballots. He had won the popular vote, but all ballots were needed to show he won the required five of nine city council districts to avoid a runoff election.
Stoney said Wednesday night that the reality of the results were still sinking in, but that he was ready for his new gig.
“I’m going to treat it more than a full-time job, it’s going to be an overtime job for me,” Stoney said. “I think that’s what the citizens of this city voted for yesterday.”
Stoney also explained what his first 100 days in office will look like.
“The number one priority is going to be schools,” he said. “Sitting down with the school board and city council and working on that education compact I talked about; a shared agenda on how we can give confidence back to the residents of the city who pay the tax dollars here ”
Second on Stoney’s list is a complete audit of City Hall.
“Getting to the bottom of why city hall has been such a broken organization over the last few years,” Stoney said.
Stoney said he plans to meet with current Mayor Dwight Jones first thing Thursday morning.
Berry released the following statement regarding the race:
“Over the last seven months, we built support across the city for a campaign that was about leadership, experience, and uniting the community to tackle the big challenges facing Richmond. I thank everyone who was a part of this election process for enabling me to step forward and be a candidate for public office. I will be forever grateful to each and every one of you. I’m proud of the positive campaign we ran and the diversity of the team we put together.
“The campaign has been a highlight of my career and brought so many wonderful people together. It was an opportunity to listen, learn, share and debate that I will never forget.
“For 35 years I have worked to improve Richmond and bring more opportunities to the city. My heart and home are here. We raised our two sons in Richmond, and are now watching our two grandchildren grow up in this wonderful town. I love this city and will look for ways to be engaged in the future.
“While the outcome is not what we had hoped for, I know that Richmond will be in good hands. Richmond has elected a young, inspiring leader with a vision for the future and immense dedication to our schools and children. I congratulate Levar Stoney on his election as the next mayor of Richmond. I wish him the very best and will be pulling for him and the city.”
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.