Former state delegate and mayoral hopeful Joe Morrissey has a definitive lead over the other seven candidates, according to a poll published last week by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Public Policy.
Morrissey cinched 28 percent of voters and lead the poll in five of nine districts — the necessary number to win the election — and is among the top three candidates in two more. Twenty-four percent of the 600 voters interviewed by phone from Aug. 18-24 were undecided, however.
Morrissey made headlines in 2015 when he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates while serving jail time for his sexual involvement with a minor, Myrna Warren, who was working at his law office at the time. Morrissey and Warren married in June 2016, and have two children together.
Jack Berry, the former executive director of Venture Richmond, a public-private organization which promotes economic growth in Richmond, polled second among voters with 16 percent support, according to the survey.
City Council President Michelle Mosby (9th District, South Central) trailed Berry with 10 percent of the vote, although Morrissey pulled more support than Mosby in her own council district in the south side.
City Councilman Jon Baliles (1st District, West End) polled at 9 percent and Levar Stoney, former Secretary of the Commonwealth under Governor Terry McAuliffe polled at 7 percent. The Richmond City Democratic Committee endorsed Stoney last week.
Former City Councilman Bruce Tyler polled at 4 percent, while architect Lawrence Williams and former real-estate consultant Bobby Junes each carried less than 1 percent of the poll.
Thirty-five percent of poll participants said a top priority for them this election is improving public education in the city. Finances, spending and city budgeting was a priority for 19 percent of participants.
Hiba is a senior studying broadcast journalism and religious studies. In addition to writing for the CT, she is the campus editor-at-large for the Huffington Post, a blogger for MuslimGirl.net and president of United Muslim Relief at VCU. This summer, Hiba interned with the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington, D.C. She previously interned with Voice for America and as a web content intern for VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.
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