Longtime North Side representative Chris Hilbert has ruled out a run for Richmond's mayoralty, announcing instead that he will seek re-election to Richmond City Council this November.
Hilbert, a senior lending officer for the Virginia Housing Development Authority who has served on council since 2004, said in a phone interview late Wednesday night that he felt he could better serve the city by running for re-election.
“Come January, we’re going to have a new mayor and at least four new council members,” Hilbert said. “I think we need someone [on Council] with experience and proven leadership to represent our district, in particular, but also to help with the process. We’ll have a lot of new faces there, and I think it’s important to have a few steady hands on deck.”
In a statement released later, Hilbert laid out improvements the district -- which stretches from Gilpin Court to Ginter Park and includes portions of Boulevard -- has seen during his 12-year stint on council. They include crime reductions, the restoration of Battery Park after flooding and the growth of Virginia Union University.
Hilbert will have face at least one challenger. Dorian Daniels, a convenience store manager, has filed his paperwork to run for the seat. Richmond School Board chairman Jeff Bourne is also considering a run for the seat. Tuesday, June 14 is the deadline to file petitions to appear on the November ballot.
With Hilbert out of the running, the current field of mayoral hopefuls includes City Council President Michelle Mosby, West End councilman Jon Baliles, former councilman Bruce Tyler, former delegate Joe Morrissey, former Venture Richmond executive Jack Berry, community strategist Lillie A. Estes, architect Lawrence Williams, businessman Brad Froman, activists Alan Schintzius and Rick Tatnall, Richmond Public Schools teacher Chad Ingold and former VCU student Nate Peterson.
Former Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney is expected to formally announce his candidacy Thursday morning.