Virginia Prosecutor: No Improper Benefit for Stoney in Richmond Monument Removal Contract

A special prosecutor, working with the Virginia State Police (VSP), found no evidence that Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney improperly benefited from the contract to remove Richmond’s monuments last summer.

“The investigation did not reveal anything criminal regarding the awarding of the contract,” Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Timothy Martin said in a Wednesday press release.

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Canceled Richmond Coliseum Developers Plan Large Arena in Henrico

Henrico County authorities are selling the former Best Products, Inc. headquarters off East Parham Road and I-95. Private developers GreenCity LLC plan to build a complex that would include a mixed-use sports and concert arena that could seat 17,000 people. The proposed $2.3 billion project will include mixed-income housing, workspaces, and outdoor areas, according to a Henrico County press release.

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Task Force Recommends Redirecting Police Funds, Stoney Says No

The City of Richmond’s Task Force To Reimagine Public Safety released its final report on Monday, after three months of meetings. The task force issued several recommendations focused on using community resources more and law enforcement less. Those recommendations include a new 911 system to triage non-criminal calls away from law enforcement and reducing police funding to send more resources to other agencies. However, Mayor Levar Stoney is not implementing the policies exactly as recommended.

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Special Prosecutor Formally Requests Authorization to Begin Investigation Into Stoney’s Monuments Contract

The special prosecutor appointed in the case of Mayor Levar Stoney’s $1.8 million contracts to remove Richmond’s Confederate monuments has formally requested Attorney General Mark Herring for authorization to begin an investigation, according to ABC8 News.

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Richmond’s Second District Becomes Local Election Battleground

While the nation watched the national elections, voters in Richmond’s second district quietly disrupted local politics. Voters surprised mayoral election watchers by voting for Alexsis Rodgers instead of current district two councilmember Kim Gray. Voters have also locked the race for Gray’s city council replacement into a narrow two-way contest where leader Tavarris Spinks is ahead of Katherine Jordan by just 26 votes out of 14,086, according to unofficial results at the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney Wins Re-election

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has won another term in office with 38.07 percent of voters, just ahead of the 35.72 percent of voters he won in 2016, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) and the City of Richmond. That upper-30s range is also the percent of support the mayor had in recent 2020 polls. In his first term, the mayor faced challenges including poor graduation rates in Richmond schools, controversy over his coliseum project, COVID-19 health and economic concerns, and questions of racial equity around policing and Confederate monuments. Those issues still face the mayor as he enters a second term.

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UPDATE: Unofficially, Stoney Pulls Ahead in Six of the Nine Richmond Districts

UPDATE: The State Department of Elections is reporting results from over 100,000 votes cast in the City of Richmond, including 66,755 absentee votes cast. However, a breakdown of absentee votes by district has not been published by either the state or the city, leaving some uncertainty about whether or not incumbent Mayor Levar Stoney has actually clinched a win in five out of the seven districts.

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Richmond City Council Races to Watch

Richmond’s eighth district is getting all the love. Just like in the mayor’s race, the eighth district city council race is one of the most high-profile of Richmond’s nine city council races in 2020, according to fourth district Councilmember Kristen Larson. Larson and eighth district Councilmember Michael Jones are running unopposed in their races for re-election, so The Virginia Star asked them which other district races they were watching.

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Goldman: Eighth District Likely to Give Gray the Mayor’s Seat

To become the mayor of Richmond, a candidate must win the most votes out of all candidates in at least five of Richmond’s nine wards. If no candidate wins five wards, the top two candidates go to a run-off election. That creates a situation where a candidate can win the election without winning the popular vote, much like the Presidential election. More importantly, it forces candidates to have strong support in a broader cross-section of Richmond neighborhoods.

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Richmond Mayoral Underdog Griffin Attacks Gray in Mailer

Mayoral candidate Justin Griffin recently sent out mailers arguing for a link between opponent candidate Kim Gray and Richmond For All (RFA), Governor Ralph Northam, and Louis Salomonsky. Griffin only got three percent in the most recent poll, well behind his nearest competitor Alexsis Rodgers who got 15 percent, Kim Gray, who got 16 percent, and incumbent Mayor Levar Stoney, who got 36 percent.

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With Less Than a Week Until Election Day, Virginia Politicians Have Continued to See Their Campaign Signs Stolen or Vandalized

Once again, campaign signs are the innocent victims of pre-election stress and anger. From Giles County to Chincoteague, signs for both Republican and Democratic candidates are being stolen or vandalized.

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Follow The Money: Who Is Investing in the Richmond Mayor’s Race?

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has passed the $916,255 he raised in 2016 campaign, hitting $1.07 million in 2020 by raising $302,294 in the first three weeks of October, according to data from The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP). Alexsis Rodgers has now raised $415,760 in total, despite beginning her race in June. Kim Gray has raised $391,502.

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Morrissey: Gray’s Going to Upset Stoney on First Ballot in Richmond Mayor Race

Despite raising twice as much money as either of his two closest challengers, Mayor Levar Stoney has struggled to get his polling above 40 percent. Two weeks ago, Councilmember Kim Gray recently saw her polling drop from 33 to 16 percent, with a high undecided voter rate. That poll placed her just ahead of the third-closest competitor, Alexsis Rodgers, who has failed to poll significantly better than 15 percent. As a result, Stoney may win despite polling at less than a majority.

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Richmond City Council Committee Advances Ordinance to Rename Confederate Avenue

Richmond City Council’s Land Use, Housing and Transportation Committee voted on Tuesday to advance an ordinance that would rename Confederate Avenue, located in the city’s northside, to Laburnum Park Boulevard.

The ordinance was co-sponsored by councilwoman and committee vice chair Kim Gray, 2nd district, and councilman Chris Hilbert, 3rd district.

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Follow the Richmond Money: Mayors Race Wide Open

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney blew away challengers Alexsis Rodgers and Kim Gray with September campaign fundraising. Data from The Virginia Public Access Project shows Stoney’s campaign reported $224,602, Rodgers reported $98,283, and Gray reported $83,455.

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Progressive Activist Running For RVA Mayor Wants Equity

Alexsis Rodgers is running for mayor to bring equity to Richmond’s impoverished and minority communities, but she said that doesn’t leave behind other parts of the city.

“We all thrive and we all succeed when more of us are able to have access to economic opportunity, when more of us are able to be healthy, and lead healthy lives,” Rodgers told The Virginia Star.

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Richmond Police Investigate Potential Burglary at Mayor Stoney’s Campaign Office

Officers responded to a break-in at Mayor Levar Stoney’s campaign office on Tuesday morning after they found a broken door, according to The Associated Press. A TV was missing and documents were displaced, but no campaign paperwork was taken.

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City of Richmond Will Use Group Initiative to Shelter Homeless Population This Winter

In the effort to combat homelessness and provide adequate inside sheltering options amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Richmond is contracting with faith-based groups in the area and the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care (GRCoC), a network of service providers that aid the homeless population.

In past years Richmond has used the Anne Gile Center, located in Upper Shockoe Valley just north of downtown, as the city’s primary Cold Weather Overflow Shelter (CWOS), but it was closed down this year in part because of COVID concerns and partly in favor of the new plan.

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Latest Poll: Gray Drops to 16 Percent, Stoney Stays Stable

Kim Gray’s support has plunged from 33 percent to 16 percent, just ahead of Alexsis Rodgers at 15 percent, according to a new poll from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. Incumbent Mayor Levar Stoney stayed solid at 36 percent. Justin Griffin dropped to 3 percent, and Tracey McLean got 1 percent. 30 percent of Richmond’s voters are undecided about the mayoral election.

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Richmond’s Summer of Blood

Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith announced 24 homicides occurred July 1 through September 3, a 60 percent increase compared with the same period in 2019. In Smith’s quarterly report violent crime overall was up four percent. Cases of arson were up by 17 percent, for a total of 21.
“After the civil unrest we still have experienced some arsons,” Smith said. Smith was hired at the beginning of July after downtown Richmond suffered violent protests.

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Sparks Fly at Richmond Mayoral Debate Between Stoney and Gray

The top four candidates for Richmond’s mayor debated in a forum on Tuesday night that saw incumbent Mayor Levar Stoney again defending his record from attacks on all sides. Councilmember Kim Gray and candidate Justin Griffin took turns attacking Stoney for corruption and mismanagement while candidate Alexsis Rodgers suggested that many of Stoney’s best ideas for the future are cribbed from her own platform.

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New Poll Suggests Richmond Mayor’s Race is Between Stoney and Gray

A new poll by the American Research Group (ARG) shows Mayor Levar Stoney and Councilmember Kim Gray at the top of the Richmond mayoral election. Stoney has 37 percent of voters, while Gray has 33 percent, with a 4.5 percent margin of error. The poll was first reported by the Richmond Free Press.

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Kim Gray Wants to Bring Transparency and Community Back to Richmond’s Government

Mayoral candidate Kim Gray is running to increase transparency in Richmond’s government, return to a community-based planning model, and improve Richmond’s schools. Her resume includes jobs for two former governors, eight years as a school board member, and four years as council member of Richmond’s Second District. Her political roots run to her childhood.

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Another Mayor Forum, Another Day of Riots in Richmond

Five candidates for mayor faced off in Coburn Hall at Virginia Union University on Thursday evening. The two-hour event was live-streamed and Facebook reported over 28 thousand views late Thursday. Former Governor and Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder co-moderated the event, lending an air of political weightiness to the debate. The evening’s questions focused largely on government efficiency and the current crises facing the city, showcasing a variety of experience and ideology in the candidates.

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Outside Prosecutor Investigating Stoney’s Contract Removing Monuments

Augusta County Prosecutor Timothy Martin will investigate a contract used by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney earlier this summer to remove parts of eight of Richmond’s Confederate monuments.

In August, Richmond City Councilmember and candidate for Stoney’s seat Kim Gray called for investigation into the contract. The contract paid $1.8 million to NAH LLC, which has ties to Devon Henry who, in 2016, donated $4,000 to Stoney’s campaign for mayor.

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Mayoral Candidate Kim Gray: RVA is My Home, not a Stepping Stone

In a virtual town hall, candidate Kim Gray said her experience as a council member and commitment to connected, honest government make her the best choice to be Richmond’s next mayor. The Youtube livestream had been watched by around 175 people by Sunday evening.

“I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life as a public servant, as an elected official, and the past four years have been very challenging. I want to overcome the corruption and cronyism and lack of common sense approaches,” Gray said.

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It’s About the Incumbent: Five Richmond Mayor Candidates Debate in Zoom Forum

Candidates for the Richmond mayor’s race took turns establishing their policy priorities and attacking the incumbent in the Southside Mayoral Forum held on Tuesday via Zoom. The candidates answered questions focused on economic and political priorities and better road and parks infrastructure.

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Richmond Protest-Related Fires Caused More Than $4 Million in Loses over 18-Day Period

Richmond firefighters responded to 48 fires believed to be protest-related causing more than $4 million in estimated losses from late May to mid-June, according to internal fire & EMS department analysis obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD).

From May 29, the Friday after George Floyd was murdered by police in Minnesota, to June 15th eight buildings, 16 dumpsters, six vehicles as well as other fires involving trash or debris, according to the RTD.

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Kim Gray Interview: Mayor Stoney Dodges Procurement Rules Awarding $1.8M to Donor Shell Company While Richmond Students Go Without Technology For School

Wednesday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredericks talked to Richmond mayoral candidate Kim Gray about Mayor Levar Stoney’s recent $1.8 million bid to remove statutes and how that money could have been better allocated to students in need.

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As Richmond Burns, Mayor Stoney’s Top Priority Is to Let People Get Stoned

Even as rioting damages large sections of Richmond and the Virginia General Assembly convenes in a special session, Mayor Levar Stoney wants lawmakers to take action — not on fighting lawlessness, but to help people get stoned.

Stoney used his bully pulpit to call for the Assembly to legalize marijuana.

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Protesters Gathered Outside Richmond Councilwoman Kim Gray’s Home

A large group of protestors amassed outside the home of Richmond councilwoman and mayoral candidate Kim Gray in the Jackson Ward neighborhood during a mid-July protest, Gray said during an interview with The Virginia Star.

Gray was first alerted to a possible threat via phone call from a someone at a protest in another part of Richmond who was told that Gray’s house had burnt down. The councilwoman, who was in her home when she answered the call, immediately notified Richmond police, she said.

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