Jon Baliles commits to race crowded with mayoral hopefuls

Posted at 6:14 PM, Apr 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-04 18:31:45-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Councilman Jon Baliles made a formal campaign announcement Monday afternoon, committing to a race already crowded with mayoral hopefuls.

The Democrat has represented Richmond’s first district since defeating Bruce Tyler in a close election back in 2012.

“We need a leader to clean up the mess, be open and honest, and make Richmond work – for all of us,” Baliles wrote on his campaign site. “Someone who will be ready on Day One.”

“I have always had a passion for, and a belief in the city,” the Richmond-native said in his campaign video.

Before serving on City Council, Baliles worked in the press office of Mayor Doug Wilder, and also in the City’s Department of Planning and Development. Baliles is the son of former governor Gerald Baliles.

He said that improving the city school system will be a priority, in addition to economic development, community safety, and the delivery of basic services which “improve our quality of life.”

So far there are 10 candidates who have said they will run for mayor: City Council member Jon Baliles, community strategist Lillie Estes, media company CEO Brad Froman, Open High teacher Chad Ingold, former delegate and commonwealth attorney Joe Morrissey, City Council President Michelle Mosby, activist and carpenter Alan Schintzius, city advocate Rick Tatnall, former Councilman Bruce Tyler, and architect Lawrence Williams.

The field could grow, as former Venture Richmond Director Jack Berry,  Councilman Chris Hilbert and Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney have discussed a run for office.

Many of these candidates will attend a forum to be hosted by L. Douglas Wilder, the former governor of Virginia and a former Richmond mayor.

The forum is planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, at Virginia Union University’s Coburn Hall.