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Morrissey will not run for Democratic nomination as lawsuit is planned to change rules

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Posted at 11:29 AM, Dec 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-20 16:42:08-05

RICHMOND, VA — CBS 6 has learned State Delegate Joe Morrissey will not seek the Democratic nomination for the seat he is resigning from January 13th.

“I am shocked that 100 party bosses have shut the door on thousands of African American voters and I am not going to be part of that process” Morrissey said.

The news comes as some Democrats in Virginia prepare to file a federal lawsuit to stop Monday’s Democratic primary (firehouse caucus) in the 74th district from happening.

The primary is to decide who should be the party’s nominee for the January special election after State Delegate Joe Morrissey announced he was resigning.

“The lawsuit is being prepared,” Paul Goldman, Morrissey’s law partner and former Democratic Party Chair said.

“This is for the voters, for people being disenfranchised,” Goldman added.

“Joe is not involved in this at all,” Goldman said — saying that the plaintiffs will be disenfranchised voters.

Goldman said he objects to the rules the party chose to select the nominee, mainly that in order to cast a vote you must be a member of a select committee.

“I don’t think the party has this authority,” Goldman added.

The Democratic Party of Virginia issued this response:

“Virginia code grants us autonomy over our own nominating process and we are operating in accordance with the law.”

As a result of the process, Goldman advised Morrissey to drop his candidacy for the party’s nomination, which he did late Saturday:

“Given my long history of fighting for equal voting rights for all Virginians, I can’t condone my party using a sham process based on disenfranchising the African-American Democrats in the 74th. Whatever the grievances the party establishment may have with Mr. Morrissey, their “two wrongs make a right” explanation for condoning something so directly contrary to democratic party ideals is patently absurd, it defies the law in my view, and frankly I don’t think Mr. Morrissey or anyone else who truly believes in these democratic values should be part of such a sham process under these circumstances.”