RPS

It’s official.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D) is running for governor of Virginia in what’s set to become a free-for-all primary.

Stoney has courted controversy in the past as former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s chief strategist. Critics, including former Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) accuse the ambitious politician of being a hatchetman.

According to The Daily Wire, Fairfax – who was accused of sexual assault by multiple women in 2019 – claims that Stoney was behind the accusations.

CBS 6 Richmond continues:

“Stoney, 42, made his formal announcement in a video that highlighted his modest upbringing and the struggles he overcame to become the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. …

Despite some high-profile City Hall setbacks, including the failures of the Navy Hill development and two separate referendums that sought to bring a casino to the city, Stoney said Richmond has seen growth under his watch. He added personal and household income were up significantly, and poverty in Richmond has dropped 22 percent.

“If you look at the City of Richmond today compared to where it was a decade ago, you will see that the tax base in this city has expanded,” Stoney said in an interview with CBS 6 following his announcement. “It’s nearly doubled since the last 10 years. I’m very, very proud of that. And that means that we’ve been very diligent about bringing new employers in. You think about Costar’s bringing its 2,000 jobs to downtown.”

“Whether it was Navy Hill or the casino, and I have no regrets. Let me tell you why. Because I’m always going to be a champion for economic opportunities, always going to be a champion for job opportunities, always going to be a champion for educational opportunities,” he said.”

Stoney joins fellow Democrat Abigail Spanbeger in seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2025.