RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) – In the City of Richmond, the deadline to be a candidate for office is June 12th, early enough to give election officials and the candidate time to prepare for November.
For Michael Ryan Jr., since that time he has been fighting just to get on the ballot – waging legal battles over whether or not he has enough signatures from qualified voters on his petition.
After Monday’s ruling by Judge Melvin Hughes ordering Ryan on the ballot, Ryan finds himself playing catch up.
As of Tuesday morning, Ryan did not have campaign website, Facebook, or Twitter account – essential components of most campaigns.
“I would say I need fifty grand to wage an effective campaign,” Ryan told CBS 6 while campaigning in Richmond.
“It’s going to be a lot of work but we’ll be ready,” he added.
While Ryan is just starting the nuts and bolts of his campaign against incumbent Mayor Dwight Jones, he has already started a debate within the State Board of Elections.
Don Palmer, Secretary of Virginia’s Board of Elections, told CBS 6 that the organization “accepts” the judge’s ruling even if it didn’t initially agree.
Palmer says this ordeal – which will ultimately cost the state thousands in legal fees – should be addressed by the General Assembly.
“There are some other issues that we need to potentially look at with the General Assembly on what petitions are accepted and what aren't,” Palmer said.
Palmer says the ramifications of Judge Hughes’ ruling will be reviewed by the State’s Attorney General’s Office.
Until then Ryan wants to talk about the issues, like smoother roads, better bussing, and getting more grocery stores in some parts of town.
Mayor Dwight Jones tells CBS 6 that he welcomes the challenge, hinting that it will make the eventual winner a better leader.