Richmond School Board chairman Jeff Bourne in an interview Tuesday morning ruled out joining a crowded field of candidates in Richmond’s mayoral race.
Bourne, 39, was one of several local elected officials known to be mulling a bid for the office. He has represented the North side on the city’s school board since 2012. Prior to then, he worked in Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ administration.
“Right now, the time is not right for my family … to run the type of campaign that a successful candidate will have to run to win,” he said.
Bourne said he wanted to continue to “serve the city” in some capacity, but added that he had not decided whether that meant running for re-election to the school board or running for City Council.
A third scenario peddled by some political insiders names Bourne as a possible successor of Del. Jennifer McClellan in the 71st district House of Delegates seat. That would be contingent upon McClellan running to fill the 9th district Senate seat that Sen. Donald McEachin is vacating to run for Virginia’s new congressional seat.
Bourne would not comment on the speculation Tuesday.
With Bourne out of the running, Richmond’s mayoral field is coming into sharper focus. Last week, former West End Councilman Bruce Tyler told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he planned to run.
Tyler joined Richmond City Council President Michelle Mosby, community strategist Lillie A. Estes, Richmond Public Schools teacher Chad Ingold, community activist Rick Tatnall, and activist Alan Schintzius as declared candidates.
Jack Berry resigned from his leadership post at Venture Richmond last Thursday in a move many interpret as an indication he, too, will soon announce a mayoral bid. Also last week, former delegate Joe Morrissey said he will make a “major announcement” this Thursday.
Others who have expressed interest in the office, including councilman Jon Baliles and Chris Hilbert, as well as Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney, have yet to announce their intentions.