Joe Morrissey has been considering a mayoral run for months. And while the former state delegate says he still hasn’t made up his mind, he's clearly leaning in that direction.
Morrissey on Thursday night attended the Greater Woodstock Area Civic Association’s meeting in South Richmond to solicit signatures for his potential mayoral bid, said Tom Larkin, the neighborhood association’s president.
The meeting took place Thursday night at Celebration Church (formerly the ROC) at 5501 Midlothian Turnpike. About 15 people were present. Morrissey confirmed on Friday afternoon that he has been personally gathering signatures for weeks and has attended several similar meetings. He could not say exactly how many signatures he has received, but estimated he had “hundreds.”
“I haven’t declared that I’m running yet, but it’s certainly helpful going around,” he said. “You hear people talking to you. They share their views, and it helps one make up their mind. It certainly helps me make up my mind.”
The City Charter requires that candidates must gather 500 signatures, including at least 50 in each of the nine council districts, by June 14th to appear on the ballot in November. At least one other candidate, Chad Ingold, has said he is gathering signatures.
Last fall, Morrissey dropped out of a state Senate race, citing since-resolved health issues. He had campaigned as an independent after state Democratic Party officials threw out hundreds of signatures he'd gathered to get on the primary ballot. Morrissey filed a lawsuit over the matter in Richmond Circuit Court. Though still listed as an active complaint, Morrissey says he and party officials recently agreed to drop the matter since the issue is moot.
In January, he took a swipe at city leadership over the state of Richmond Public Schools and its facilities. Now gathering signatures, his foray into city politics seems inevitable.
“Should I decide to pull the trigger, I’ll have everything in order,” Morrissey said.
It is shaping up to be a busy 2016 for Morrissey. He is expecting his second child with his fiancé, Myrna Warren, in seven weeks. The couple’s wedding is scheduled for Saturday, June 11, he said.