Aside from the 2016 general election, there is another important race taking place in Richmond, VA: the race for mayor. The election will be the same date as the general election, which is November 8th if you happened to forget!
There are currently 7 people in the running for this position, one of whom is named Joe Morrissey. He used to be in the House of Delegates, and also ran to be a Virginia state senator in 2015. He has raised the third highest amount of money in the race, with $142,931 total.
With the mayoral election coming up in the state’s capital, of course there’s been recent buzz about the candidates. There is currently an “Anti-Morrissey” movement, along with slogans like “Just not Joe” to show how much people dislike him. However, groups like the Richmond Crusade, an advocacy group for black voters in Richmond, endorsed Morrissey at the end of September.
So…why don’t people like Morrissey? Let’s explore the reasons people may not want him to be Richmond’s next mayor.
Photo credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that back in 2014, Morrissey was accused of having sex with his 17-year old law office intern (and his now wife). Not only was he accused, but according to the Virginia State Bar, he knowingly lied in court about having a sexual relationship with the girl at the time. At this point, Morrissey doesn’t feel that the scandal should be a factor for voters or anyone for that matter. He said, “Myrna and I are married. We have two children. We’ve bought a house. We are very happy and I, quite frankly, believe this matter was resolved and settled two to three years ago and anybody that wants to poke into things, have at it. I’m not going to be sidetracked from what I’m trying to accomplish.” That settles that for Morrissey.
Or maybe it has to do with the fact that Morrissey wants to remove the Jefferson Davis statue from Monument Avenue in Richmond, a street known for monuments of leaders of the Confederacy. Morrissey went to the statue in late September, saying, “The Jefferson Davis statue is a political statue that glorified a failed political organization and championed a cause — slavery — that all Americans now find abhorrent.” If elected mayor, he says, he will immediately remove the statue. This statement has added fuel to the fire for those against the “politically correct” movement.
Although I’m not from Richmond, I can imagine that many people do not want Morrissey for their next mayor due to the combination of the two reasons stated above. Who is Joe Morrissey to talk about morals in the political arena when he failed to follow the law regarding a young girl who worked for him? I can understand where in certain circumstances, such as a politician having an affair, people can forgive that politician and still respect them as a public servant. But where do we draw the line?
I encourage you to create a list of standards you wish your elected officials to uphold not only before going to the polls held on November 8th, but for future ones as well.