At a campaign kick-off event in Church Hill Tuesday, Governor Northam announced that he is endorsing Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney for re-election.
On Monday, Stoney announced via his Twitter that the Virginia legislative Black Caucus Chair Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico County) endorsed him for re-election.
Del. Delores McQuinn (D-Chesterfield County) is also expected to endorse Stoney, according to NBC 12.
“Levar has been a leader, he’s a listener and takes action. He’s taken Richmond to the next level,” Northam said at the event, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I plan to vote for him on November 3rd. I encourage everybody else in the city of Richmond to do the same.”
Northam’s endorsement comes with some surprise as well as intrigue because Stoney was one of many Virginia Democratic leaders to call for the Governor’s resignation after a photo of a man dressed in blackface and another in Klu Klux Klan robes on Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced online last year.
Stoney offered his thanks to the governor on Twitter.
Thank you, @RalphNortham for your support. I could not ask for a better partner as we work to protect public health and safety during this pandemic. 63 days to election day – let's get it done! https://t.co/lWCSDK1ZJH
— Levar M. Stoney (@LevarStoney) September 1, 2020
Northam’s endorsement of Stoney was not surprising to mayoral candidate Tracey McLean, however.
“I definitely thought that’s what [Northam] would do, I expected that,” McLean told The Virginia Star.
Stoney and McLean, who is currently the CEO of Adyme Entertainment and Adyme Publishing, are joined by four other candidates vying to become the Mayor of Richmond.
The other challengers include Richmond business attorney and activist M. Justin Griffin, Care in Action state director Alexsis Rodgers, professor of economics at Virginia Commonwealth University Michael Gilbert and 2nd district councilwoman Kim Gray.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Stoney leads all other candidates in campaign money raised as of June 30th with $269,689, followed by Rodgers in second with $100,794 and then Gray in third with $93,111.
The general election for Richmond Mayor will take place on November 3.
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