What is shaping up to be a packed field for Richmond’s 2016 mayoral race may soon be even more crowded.
Jack Berry, executive director of Venture Richmond, confirmed Monday that he is mulling a run for the office. Berry, 61, joins several others who have either declared their respective candidacies or expressed interest in the job, including City Council President Michelle Mosby, community activist Lillie Estes, City Councilmen Jon Baliles and Chris Hilbert, School Board Chairman Jeff Bourne, Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney and former state delegate Joe Morrissey.
“It’s not just a political job,” Berry said of the mayoralty. “It’s a CEO job, and we need someone who has experience leading a large, complex organization.”
Venture Richmond is a public-private organization that promotes downtown and puts on events like the Richmond Folk Festival, Dominion Riverrock and others. Berry has worked for the organization since 1998 (then called Richmond Renaissance). He was a vocal supporter of Mayor Dwight C. Jones' now-defunct plan to build a minor league baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom.
Prior to his current job, Berry worked for six and a half years as the county administrator of Hanover County and spent 13 years in Richmond City Hall as a deputy city manager.
If he were to run, Berry said he would announce by the end of March.
“I’ve got a lot to think about before I make a decision,” he said.