RICHMOND, Va. -- When Anthoney Stoney went to visit his mom, brother and nephews in New York when the boys were little, he was not satisfied with their living conditions.
"I went in my caravan and brought Levar, Marvis, my mom, and Marvin to my house in Bethel Manor," Anthoney said.
That's how his nephew, Levar Stoney, ended up living in York County, Virginia with his grandma Mary.
"She had a high school education in South Carolina as a sharecropper. At 16 she was a sharecropper, going to the fields and then going to school," Anthoney said about his mom, grandma Mary.
Anthoney said young Levar grew up fast and even took over the family finances.
"Levar was the banker at 12," Anthoney said.
And, he helped his brother, Marvis, improve his grades.
"He would tutor me at home, and it was a fun game for him, and I was just like this is the dumbest thing in the world," Marvis Stoney recalled from his home in Portland, Oregon.
Yet, while Marvis said Levar excelled academically, he was not the most gifted athlete at first.
"When we were younger, I was the one that was allowed to play football with the older kids. Levar was terrible, he sucked," Marvis said. "Just like anything in life, he worked on it, and he ended up being a very good athlete later on in life."
Levar's family said that work ethic and drive propelled him to James Madison University, then to lead the Virginia Democratic Party, a job in Governor Terry McAuliffe's cabinet, and finally, Mayor of Richmond.
CBS 6 asked Levar's brother how he would grade the Mayor's performance.
"This is a troubling time for every single mayor, so I believe my brother has done an excellent job compared to other mayors I've seen," Marvis said. "He's had the protests, he's had COVID, you're never going to make every single person happy, that's impossible that you're going to make every single person happy."
Perhaps, his uncle said, his brutal honesty with Levar over the years prepared him for it.
"I tell him what other people don't want to tell him, what people close to him won't tell him," Anthoney said. "You're not going to solve Richmond's problems in a four year term... I think a second term for him, I think that's when you could really see the beauty of what this kid can bring to that environment."
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