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Jack Berry (Photo by Ash Daniel)
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Joe Morrissey Announcement
Joe Morrissey (Photo by Mark Robinson)
The race to become Richmond's mayor is tightening, according to a new poll commissioned by the Richmond Association of Realtors.
Joe Morrissey, the former commonwealth’s attorney and state delegate, is still the front-runner in the field of seven candidates, with 29 percent of the vote citywide and leads in six of the nine voter districts: the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th. However, former Venture Richmond executive Jack Berry is gaining ground on Morrissey citywide and in two key districts.
A quarter of the voters surveyed said they would vote for Berry — a 10-point leap from the Christopher Newport University poll in mid-August, the new poll shows. Berry, whom the Realtors endorsed earlier this month, leads in the 1st, 2nd and 4th districts.
To win outright, a candidate must earn the most votes in five of the nine districts. Berry trails Morrissey by less than the margin of error in the 5th District, where Morrissey was favored by 29 percent of those surveyed, followed by Berry at 26 percent and former Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney at 17 percent. Berry is also the candidate in best position to overtake Morrissey in the 3rd District (Morrissey, 32 percent; Berry, 23 percent; Stoney, 19 percent).
In a news release paired with the poll, the organization reiterated its endorsement of Berry and cast him as the biggest threat to the front-runner.
“The voters of Richmond now have a clear choice about who will run City Hall and represent Richmond to the region, state and beyond over the next four years —Joe Morrissey or Jack Berry,” stated Laura Lafayette, the organization’s CEO. “People can say the field is crowded or the picture is cloudy, it’s not; one of these men will be the next mayor, the only question is, which one?”
Trailing Morrissey and Berry are Stoney (14 percent), West End Councilman Jon Baliles (12 percent) and City Council President Michelle Mosby (7 percent). Two percent of voters said they were supporting one of the other three candidates – Bobby Junes, Bruce Tyler or Lawrence Williams (Tyler dropped out of the race on Tuesday afternoon). Eleven percent of those surveyed said they are undecided.
The poll, conducted by American Strategies on behalf of the Realtors’ political action committee, surveyed 600 registered voters across the city’s nine voter districts between Sept. 17 and 21. Its margin of error is 4 percent citywide. At the district level, the margin of error is between 8.5 and 12.8 percent.