Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney eyes run for Virginia governor

Posted at 2:52 PM, Nov 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-09 23:07:43-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Official confirmation that Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney will run for Governor of Virginia in 2025 should come by the end of the year, according to a Politico report published Thursday.

“I can confirm that the Mayor will be making an announcement about his political future by the end of the year,” Kevin Zeithaml, a senior advisor to Mayor Stoney, told CBS 6 reporter Cameron Thompson.

Two sources with knowledge of Stoney's political plans also confirmed the mayor's announcement timeline with CBS 6 reporter Jake Burns.

Thursday's reporting helped to solidify the longstanding belief that Mayor Stoney has his eyes on a higher office in Virginia.

Political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth spoke with CBS 6 following the report, saying that Stoney has strengths that could help him in a future governor's race, but that the mayor will also face challenges as U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger may be a likely opponent.

"He's a very personable candidate, he relates well to people. He is very likable to the people who meet him. He enjoys politics," Holsworth said. "The challenge that he has is just to overcome the fact that Spanberger begins with such a broader geographical expanse than he does."

Additionally, Dr. Bob mentioned that Spanberger has a much wider reach across the state of Virginia, whereas Stoney is mostly known within the Richmond area - another factor that could throw a wrench into a successful governor's campaign.

"If (Spanberger) gets into this race, which I expect she will, she comes in with a base that has elected her throughout a good portion of the most populated areas in Virginia," Dr. Bob said. "For Levar to actually compete with that he's going to have to find some way to generate a base, generate a constituency that can compete with what Spanberger is going to bring to the table."

Gerald M. Smith, Levar Stoney
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney gestures during a press conference at Richmond Virginia Police headquarters, Wednesday, July 6, 2022, in Richmond, Va.

In October, the Associated Press called both Stoney and U.S. Rep. Spanberger presumptive candidates in the 2025 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Neither Democratic politician has officially announced their candidacies, but both are expected to seek their party's nomination.

Abigail Spanberger
Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-Va) speaks at a campaign rally on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, Virginia Beach, Va. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

Under Virginia law, Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin cannot seek a consecutive term as governor.

Republican Lt. Governor Winsome Earle-Sears and Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares would likely be candidates to seek the Republican Party's nomination, but neither has announced a run for the office.

Glenn Youngkin, Jason Miyares, Winsome Sears
Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, center, speaks with running mates, attorney general candidate, Jason Miyares, left, and lieutenant governor candidate Winsome Sears, right, as they walk from a rally in Fredericksburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Youngkin will face Democrat former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the November election. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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