Well, well, what do we have here? [read_more]
Let’s see: Del. Joe Morrissey (I) decides to run for the state senate, D-16 against incumbent Sen. Rosalyn Dance (D) and challenger Del. Joe Preston (D), this time as a Democrat in a June 9 primary. The district encompasses Petersburg, parts of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hopewell and Prince George County.
The scourge of the party big-wigs, “Fightin’ Joe” becomes the immediate favorite in the race if he qualifies for primary ballot access.
Morrissey says he collected 600 signatures (he needs 250 legits to qualify for the June 9 primary ballot)…but he claims has no one to take them.
And neither does Joe Preston.
Why? Because the Democratic chair of the 16th state senate district quit unexpectedly last night.
So there is no one available to take the petitions from Morrissey or Preston.
The Deadline is Thursday, March 26.
No Ballot For You, Joe!
Yesterday two representatives from Morrissey’s camp went to the Petersburg Regional Library to present their paperwork to Lashrecse Aird, the 16th state senate legislative nominating chairperson.
Morrissey campaign operatives requested that the signatures be pre-cleared — which is not uncommon in state legislative races.
Aird, a Petersburg resident and well-known supporter of Dance, refused to accept the signatures for pre-clearance, which is her prerogative under the rules.
That’s just hardball politics.
Morrissey says he called her personally and asked what the problem was.
“She said: ‘I spoke with somebody in the state Democratic committee and they told me I could not accept them for pre-clearance.’ She would not tell me who this person was,” Morrissey stated. “I asked her three times for a name.”
Then last night, at 9:52 p.m., according to Morrissey, Aird resigned her position.
So currently there is no one designated to receive Morrissey’s or Preston’s nominating petitions. The rules are unclear and time is running out to qualify.
“This doesn’t pass the stink test,” Morrissey surmised.
Preston could not be reached for comment by press time, and did not return emails.
Morrissey says he’ll attempt to present his signatures at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday to J. Kirk Showalter, General Registrar for the City of Richmond at the city registrar’s office.
But the independent delegate, who has been harpooned and ostracized by party leaders on both sides of the aisle in the General Assembly, says he’s not optimistic.
“Based on conversations I’ve had with the registrar’s office it is expected that they will refuse to accept my petitions. They told me only the 16th legislative nominating chairperson could receive them,” Morrissey claimed. “But one doesn’t exist.”
So what’s next?
The establishment party stalwarts couldn’t beat Morrissey in the courts, they couldn’t beat him with a dubious looking police raid at his campaign offices the day before the special election in January, and much to their chagrin they couldn’t beat him at the ballot box.
Morrissey romped as an independent despite spending his nights in the county jail.
Now he is free, having served his sentence.
And what about Preston? Collateral damage, perhaps?
Welcome to the USSR: Richmond Democratic Party style.