Jon Baliles endorses Levar Stoney for Richmond mayor - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

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Jon Baliles endorses Levar Stoney for Richmond mayor

Levar Stoney (Source: stoneyforrva.com) Levar Stoney (Source: stoneyforrva.com)
Jon Baliles (Source: Twitter) Jon Baliles (Source: Twitter)
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Councilman Jon Baliles endorsed Levar Stoney for Richmond mayor on Saturday.

Baliles released the following statement:

Three days ago when I withdrew from the mayor’s race, I called upon the remaining candidates to consolidate into one viable alternative to Joe Morrissey because our city needs to move forward.

It was a difficult but necessary decision.

But with three days to go, it is clear the field of candidates will not change and many of my supporters are asking me for direction.

Earlier this week, I asked my supporters to not vote for me on the ballot on Tuesday to send a message because the stakes are too high and our city’s future is too valuable.

I greatly respect my supporters and our shared passion for doing what is best for Richmond. I will not tell them how to vote, but can only tell them how I will vote on Tuesday.

My endorsement of Levar Stoney for mayor comes down to my belief that he best represents the next generation of leadership for our city that will work collaboratively with others to make the best decisions.

Richmond has come a long way since I was born here and we have achieved substantial progress in the last 15 years. We know there are so many people that are ready to help this city move to the next level and beyond. But we have much more to do because there are well-known problems that we need to resolve. It will take new thinking, an experienced team, and the determination to really address these issues.

No longer can we rely on big shiny projects to provide revenue for schools or basic services. No longer can we rely on the same promises to move our city forward and provide opportunities and advancement for people whom have been ignored for too long.

Now is the time for the next generation of leaders to move Richmond forward.

We can do this, but we need someone who will work across the city, involve citizens from Woodville to Windsor Farms, and from Bellemeade to Bellevue. Someone that will look at the longstanding problems with creative new ideas and who displays the determination to put them into action. Levar Stoney is that leader and he should be our next mayor.

I hope you will join me in choosing to advance Richmond to the next level with Levar, who is up to the challenge. He can lead the way to a brighter future and make Richmond work – for all of us.

In response to Councilman Baliles' endorsement, Levar said the following:

Jon Baliles has a breadth and depth of experience in city government and a true understanding of how City Hall works. Throughout his career, he has always put Richmond first. I am honored to have the endorsement of someone who is so keenly focused on making sure our city continues moving forward. Jon's confidence in my candidacy and ability to serve is humbling. I am excited to have him join our team in campaigning these final days and I look forward to having his counsel and advice when I'm Mayor.

This comes after Baliles announced he was dropping out of the race Wednesday afternoon.

Baliles says he is backing out to prevent splitting the vote and "electing someone who so plainly cares only about himself."

He is asking that no one "cast a protest vote" for him "because the stakes are too high and our city’s future is too valuable."

"My withdrawal from the race, however, is not a guarantee of the absence of a fragmented count," said Baliles in the Facebook post on Wednesday. "There will still be at least two major alternatives to Joe Morrissey that would split the opposition vote. The only realistic way our city can ensure that we are moving forward on the morning of November 9 is for other candidates to withdraw and consolidate."

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