Mayor says he’ll be just as motivated even running unopposed

Posted at 11:52 PM, Jul 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-19 23:52:02-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--CBS 6 caught up with Mayor Dwight Jones Thursday to get his take on running unopposed. None of his previous opponents qualified, so there will be only one choice for mayor on the November ballot.

"We live in a country where people should be able to run.  So, I think he shouldn't get a free pass,” said Richmond resident Alison Thompson.

"It's very frustrating mainly because you're fighting city hall,” said Michael Ryan, Jr.

Last week, Michael Ryan, Junior told CBS 6, that Richmond's Registrar informed him that he didn't have enough verified registered voters on his petition in three districts, so he couldn’t get on the ballot.

In Virginia, there's no appeals process after the filing deadline.  But Ryan and his attorney are mounting a legal battle.

"This is headed for court,” said Political strategist Paul Goldman, who also said the State Board of Elections denied his request for a hearing. 

Now, he's taking the fight before a judge, by challenging the state law and the city registrar.

"They just arbitrarily at times say we're not going to count this person's signature,” said Goldman. “And that's taking away someone's First Amendment rights.”
“And there was a time in the City of Richmond that meant something to people,” Goldman added. “Now, nobody complains.”

And while Goldman holds this belief, we asked Mayor Jones about the controversy over his seat.

"I mean that's his right,” said Mayor Jones.  “And so, if he decides to do that, and if he's successful, then, we'll see him on the campaign trail.”

Paul Goldman said he plans to file suit next week.  He believed it would’ve taken Richmond’s Registrar all of 15 minutes to go back and verify his clients signatures. 

But now, Goldman says it could take a few months and tens of thousands of dollars to resolve this issue.

"If nobody decides to run, I'm going to be just as motivated as I would've been if somebody was running,” Mayor Jones added.

CBS 6 is following this story and we’ll keep you updated.