Jones remains mum on re-election plans

RICHMOND (WWBT) - He has many plans that will take beyond this year to complete, but Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones hasn't decided if he will run for re-election this fall. It would be a major surprise if he decided not to run for re-election, but with only 10 months before voters go to the polls, he still unwilling to guarantee that his name will be on the ballot.

It was a question the Mayor wasn't ready to answer.

"I tell you what," he told me. "When I decide I am going to let you be the first to know."

He was playing coy in a sit down interview with NBC12 on Friday. He said he has been too busy running the city to think about running for re-election.

"There is just a lot going on so I really haven't turned my attention to being ready to make an announcement one way or another," he said.

Much of what he has 'going on" would appear to be the basis of a robust re-election campaign. He has waded through the controversy over a new jail, and helped break ground on four new schools. Plans that the Mayor admits, might not have been his ideas.

"Your building schools, but they were proposed before you got elected," He said people often say to him. To which he responds, "Ya they were proposed, but they didn't get built."

But as new schools go up, the controversies remain. One of the biggest, the future of Richmond's popular minor league baseball team, the Flying Squirrels. The team has sent veiled threats they may leave if a new ballpark isn't built.

"It's gonna happen, it's gonna happen," Jones said. "The question is when."

Jones said the Squirrels aren't going anywhere, but big problems must be fixed first.

"Then we can turn our attention to some of the things we want instead of some of the things we have to do, like closing holes in budgets."

The question is, beyond 2012 will Dwight Jones be the person with that responsibility?

One indication of which way Jones is leaning is his financial report. His last report of 2011 showed that his campaign has more than $80 thousand in the bank and is still actively raising cash.

Most political observers believe the mayor will indeed run again.

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