Morrissey easily wins 16th District primary

Joe Morrissey wins primary in upset

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Joe Morrissey easily edged incumbent Rosalyn Dance in a political comeback in Tuesday’s primary.

“We won the Democratic nomination!” Joe Morrissey told a crowd of supporters.

Once returns began coming in, it was clear Morrissey would win the nomination without much drama.

He totaled 8,622 votes (56 percent) to Dance’s 6,665 (44 percent).

The race was the most high profile in the state Tuesday with Morrissey’s name again on the ballot and Gov. Ralph Northam supporting Dance.

“The people that make the difference, the people that makes folks count are you folks. I knocked on your doors and you told me what you are thinking,” Morrissey said.

It’s been a long political road for Morrissey who faced controversy in the past.

In 2013, Morrissey was convicted following a sex scandal involving a then 17-year-old staffer in his law office, whom he later married.

Morrissey vacated a seat in the House of Delegates in 2015 to run for this same seat, but suspended his campaign prior to the general election. He had previously failed in a return to politics finishing third in the Richmond mayoral race that elected Levar Stoney.

As far as Morrissey’s checkered past, supporters say they care more about his action in office than in his personal life.

“That is his business. Everyone has a past. He did what he did. It is what it is,” supporter Tiffany Brown said.

“You never ever quit. You never give up. You are not defined in life by the setback but the way your respond to things,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey says he campaigned hard in the district.

“I went to the people from Richmond to Prince George County and Hopewell. I asked them what, what do you think needs to be done? What do you want done?” Morrissey said.

Morrissey said Governor Ralph Northam called him to congratulate him and said he looks forward working with him in the future.

Morrissey now switching focus from the campaign to life in office.

“I want to focus on bringing teachers in that are just matriculating from college and are looking for their first job. I want to give them loan forgiveness if they stay on an urban jurisdiction for five years,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey also wants to introduce new legislation.

“I’m going to introduce a bill to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use, and I’m going to introduce legislation to double the number of drug courts,” Morrissey said.

“When one door closes another door opens,” State Senator Rosalyn Dance said.

It was a different tune across town for Incumbent Rosalyn Dance.

“To all my supporters, I thank you and I say at the end of the day there is nothing I regret because we put it all on the table. We did everything we could do and we followed our plan and executed our plan,” Dance said.

As for the future, Dance isn’t sure just yet.

“There are other ways to do public service other than a public official. So, I won’t ever stop trying to help people but maybe in a different arena,” Dance said.

Morrissey will likely run unopposed in November because there are no candidates on the Republican side in the race.

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