Rick Tatnall ended on Friday morning his bid to be Richmond's next mayor, citing a desire to focus on city schools, and a growing field of mayoral candidates contributing to a contest that is "already out of control."
Instead, the longtime East End community activist will seek to fill the open 7th district seat on the Richmond School Board. "I have decided to narrow my focus back on what I know best – the East End and Richmond Public Schools," Tatnall said in a statement.
Since 2009, the 7th district School Board seat has been held by Donald Coleman, who announced earlier this month he would not seek reelection. At least one other candidate has voiced interest in the seat: James "JJ" Minor, a City Hall insider who chairs the city's Democratic Party committee.
Tatnall was one of the first candidates to declare his mayoral bid back in January. Since then, the field has ballooned to 18 candidates. Former Richmond City Councilman Chuck Richardson and strip club owner Michael Dickinson each announced plans to run earlier this week.
"With 18 candidates and counting, the election is guaranteed to be less about strategic plans and creative ideas and more about money and personalities," Tatnall said.
With Tatnall out of the running, the field stands at 17 candidates. The deadline to file paperwork to appear on the November ballot is Tuesday, June 14.