Tight races, new faces on Richmond City Council - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Tight races, new faces on Richmond City Council

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A shake-up is coming to the nine-member Richmond City Council. The question is, just how big?

24 votes is the difference right now between two new faces on the council or possibly three. It's the race that raised eyebrows over an upscale alley in Richmond's west end.

"If you look at it, it looks like the Taj Mahal of alleys," said Jon Baliles back in October.

"I think my colleague that's running against me is desperate," said Bruce Tyler, the same day.

Tyler, the incumbent, now trails challenger Baliles by just two dozen votes; a result that followed a campaign scuffle over whether the "green alley" project behind Tyler's house is appropriate.

Now, a recount is possible. Wednesday, Tyler said, "Every vote counts. And If you don't believe me, this is a race that'll show it."

While that race is sorted out, the results appear more certain for two other incumbents. Doug Conner was ousted by salon owner Michelle Mosby. Marty Jewell lost to Parker Agelasto, who said Tuesday night that being a newcomer to politics was not necessarily a bad thing.

"You know, somebody that is well known can sometimes hurt a candidate. Because they [voters] know what the shortcomings are, and they're looking for somebody who can overcome that," Agelasto said.

Six other incumbents will stay, including the Council President Kathy Graziano. Also, Charles Samuels, who narrowly held onto his seat.

"I think there's going to be a lot of opportunities between now and the new year to get to know our new council people and to say goodbye to those that are leaving us," Samuels said Tuesday night.

Not leaving, is Mayor Dwight Jones, re-elected to another four-year term.

"So many things need to be done that's going to require us working together to make that happen," Jones said Tuesday night.

Working, he said, to usher in new schools, a new jail, and to implement more of the city's anti-poverty initiatives.

The new council will be sworn in January 2. The council president predicted a more cohesive unit moving forward.

A recount in the Tyler-Baliles race wouldn't be triggered until provisional ballots are considered. That's expected to be determined by the end of the week.

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