City Electoral Board certifies 6 mayoral candidates, 22 for City Council and 19 for School Board

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 8/13/2020, 6 p.m.
Incumbent Mayor Levar M. Stoney will have five opponents as he seeks a second term.

Incumbent Mayor Levar M. Stoney will have five opponents as he seeks a second term.

Two members of Richmond City Council, 2nd District Councilwoman Kimberly B. “Kim” Gray and 3rd District Councilman Chris A. Hilbert, are not seeking re-election to the nine-member governing body, with Ms. Gray challenging the mayor for election and Mr. Hilbert retiring.

Richmond School Board Chair Linda B. Owen has withdrawn her bid for re-election to the 9th District seat, virtually ensuring the contest winner will be newcomer Nicole Jones, who qualified to challenge Ms. Owen. Ms. Owen has not responded to a request for comment.

Two other School Board members also are not seeking re-election, 5th District member Dr. Patrick Sapini and 6th District member Felicia D. Cosby.

Those are among the findings after the Richmond Electoral Board certified the final list of local candidates for the Tuesday, Nov. 3, election, including the six candidates running for mayor, the 22 running for City Council and the 19 running for School Board seats.

The list, though, has not been posted on the state Department of Elections’ website because of a continuing snafu.

According to city Voter Registrar Kirk Showalter, the state’s computerized petition signature tracking system has not been adjusted to recognize court actions resulting from the pandemic.

Beginning May 18, circuit court judges in Richmond issued orders reducing the number of petition signatures of registered voters that city candidates had to submit in order to get on the ballot. For mayoral candidates, the number of signatures was reduced from 500 to 150. For City Council and School Board candidates, the required number dropped from 125 to 50.

But the state system is still requiring each local candidate to have the original number of signatures, a frustrated Ms. Showalter said. “I have repeatedly notified the Department of Elections about the court orders, but nothing has changed,” she said. “In late July, I was told that any change could take six weeks.”

Christopher Piper, director of the state elections agency, did not respond to two Free Press requests for comment.

Ms. Showalter said the Richmond Electoral Board is empowered to approve local candidates, not the state. She said she will work with the printer to bypass the state until the state’s system is adjusted to ensure Richmond ballots listing the certified candidates are ready for the start of absentee voting.

Her office will begin mailing out absentee ballots by Friday, Sept. 18, and will start in-person absentee voting on Monday, Sept. 21.

Here are the local candidates who will be on the ballot, by district, for City Council and School Board:

Mayor — Mayor Stoney and challengers Michael J. Gilbert, Ms. Gray, M. Justin Griffin, Tracey V. McLean and Alexsis E. Rodgers.

City Council — 1st District, Incumbent Andreas D. Addison; challengers Michael R. “Mike” Dickinson and Michael C. “Mike” Gray. 2nd District, No incumbent; Ashley Jefferson, Katherine L. Jordan and Tavarris J. Spinks. 3rd District, No incumbent; Willie Edward Hilliard Jr., Ann-Frances Lambert and Elaine T. Summerfield. 4th District, Incumbent Kristen N. Larson. 5th District, Incumbent Stephanie A. Lynch; challengers Nicholas S. Da Silva, Jer’Mykeal D. Mc- Coy and Mamie L. Taylor. 6th District, Incumbent Ellen F. Robertson; challenger Allan-Charles R. Chipman. 7th District, Incumbent Cynthia I. Newbille; challenger Joseph S.H. Rogers. 8th District, Incumbent Reva M. Trammell; challengers Regie D. Ford and Amy C. Wentz. 9th District, Incumbent Michael J. Jones.

School Board — 1st District, Incumbent Liz B. Doerr. 2nd District, Incumbent J. Scott Barlow; challenger Mariah L. White. 3rd District, Incumbent, Kenya J. Gibson; challenger Sabrina J. Gross. 4th District, Incumbent Jonathan M. Young; challenger Deanna Fierro. 5th District, No incumbent; candidates Jenny A. Aghomo, Decardra L. Jackson, David F. Jones Sr. and Stephanie M. Rizzi. 6th District, No incumbent; candidates Shonda Matia Harris-Muhammed, Lynette R. Plummber, Timika S. Vincent and Deon L. Wright. 7th District, Incumbent Cheryl L. Burke. 8th District, Incumbent Dawn C. Page; chal- lenger Dana C. Sally-Allen. 9th District, No incumbent; Nicole Jones.