2020 Mayoral Election


With COVID-19 preventing the typical candidate forum circuit and door-knocking campaigns this election season, 2020 Richmond mayoral hopefuls have had to get creative, trading meet-and-greets for Zoom calls and debate stages for Twitter threads.

We interviewed the field of five candidates to understand how they would guide Richmond’s long-term COVID-19 recovery, reform the city’s police department, stave off a rising tide of evictions and increase access to equitable education opportunities during the remote-learning era, among other topics.

Contenders range from first-time candidates to seasoned politicians, and although there is consensus around the need to decrease the use of armed officers when responding to mental health emergencies, they hold differing visions for Richmond’s future.

The incumbent, Mayor Levar Stoney, enters the race during a whirlwind year that started with the defeat of the much-touted Navy Hill downtown redevelopment plan strongly backed by his administration, but shifted to COVID-19 testing and relief following the pandemic’s onset. Stoney faced criticism after Richmond police officers used tear gas and pepper spray against protesters this summer during racial justice demonstrations sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. If reelected, he ranks affordable housing and universal pre-K among his top priorities.

Election Day is Nov. 3. To win outright, a candidate must secure five of nine City Council districts. If no one wins five districts, the top two vote-getters will face off in a December runoff election.

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