Richmond’s declared mayoral candidates include several business owners

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 11/30/2023, 6 p.m.
Richmond voters again will have multiple choices for the next mayor of Richmond when they vote in 2024.

Richmond voters again will have multiple choices for the next mayor of Richmond when they vote in 2024.

Three people have already announced they will compete for the post, with at least two others waiting in the wings to launch their campaigns and potentially more to come.

The race for the city’s top elected post is wide open as Mayor Levar M. Stoney, who had seven competitors in 2016, is heading into the final year of his second term.

He is barred from seeking a third term and already is pointing to a run for governor.

The announced candidates are Michelle R. Mosby, a businesswoman and charity leader who previously served four years on City Council; Garrett L. Sawyer, a consultant on employment and other human resources matters; and Maurice X. Neblett, an entrepreneur.

Others who have been mentioned as candidates include 1st District Councilman Andreas D. Addison and former 3rd District City Councilman Chris A. Hilbert, though neither has announced.

This will be the second bid for Ms. Mosby, who ran a distant fourth to Mayor Stoney in 2016.

Ms. Mosby, 54, a hair salon owner, real estate broker and founding president and CEO of the Help Me Help You nonprofit that serves persons formerly incarcerated, has been gathering support for at least a year.

She has reported raising nearly $70,000 and has garnered multiple endorsements.

According to her website, she plans to focus on workforce development, improving city services and increasing workforce development in partnership with businesses.

She also plans to support police efforts to arrest criminals while beefing up support for programs that offer positive alternatives for city youths.

Mr. Sawyer, who has served on the boards of the Richmond Public Library and the Anna Julia Cooper School, has reported raising nearly $27,000 for his second bid for public office. He ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for the 5th District Council seat.

His policy platform calls for modernizing systems at City Hall, increasing investments in mental health and other programming to divert youths and adults from crime, increasing affordable housing and investing in public schools.

Mr. Neblett, 34, owner operator of a security firm, a locksmith operation and other businesses, is making his first bid for public office. He has not reported raising any money for his bid.

He said he wants to make it easier for city residents to learn how the city is spending their money, as well as improve public safety by ensuring police accountability. Mr. Neblett also wants to include social workers and community leaders in addressing violence, along with providing students access to career training and college.