RICHMOND, Va. – Former Delegate Joe Morrissey’s bid to get on the Democratic Party primary ballot for the 16th District Senate seat failed Tuesday when it was ruled that he did not have the right to appeal.
A circuit court judge ruled that an appeal could only be initiated by the State Democratic Committee.
Tuesday’s ruling means that Sen. Rosalyn Dance, D-Petersburg, and Del. Joseph Preston, D-Petersburg will be on the ballot for the June Democratic primary.
In a press release, Morrissey explained that the process was flawed due to a conflict of interest from members of the 16th District Democratic Committee.
“The committee to determine whether or not I had the required number of signatures was comprised of Roslyn Dance supporters, including the chairperson, who is currently working on her campaign team,” Morrissey said.
With 250 approved signatures needed, only 222 of Morrissey’s 972 were accepted. For his circuit court case, Morrissey located 39 people in the 16th District who provided sworn statements that they had signed his petition and were eligible to vote in the district.
“These thirty nine signatures were independently verified by a local registrar,” Morrissey said. “These 39 signatures would have put me over the top.
“It is indeed unfortunate that tens of thousands of people in the 16th Senate District will be denied the candidate of their choice in the June 9, 2015 Democratic Primary.”
Morrissey gave up his 74th House of Delegates seat in order to run for the Senate. He says he will announce his intentions very soon as to how he plans to proceed.
One option is to run as an Independent candidate — he successfully won a special election in January as an Independent for the 74th District House seat (which he vacated in December due to all of his legal issues).