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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Endorsement-Gate, Sunday Style

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We had a little bit of news today in the race for Richmond Mayor. This is our Richmond reporter Rachael DePompa’s day off, she normally covers this on her beat at Decision Richmond. (She has dubbed the event “Endorsement-Gate”)

You may have heard that Delegate Dwight Jones recently earned the endorsement of the Richmond Democratic Committee. This endorsement is more symbolic than it is substantive because candidates for office in the city of Richmond, technically run non-partisan campaigns. In other words, they are not running under the banner of any specific political party.

However, the endorsement of the city committee carries weight because the city is largely democratic and all of the candidates running for mayor consider themselves democrats. There is no doubt that any of these individuals would love to run under the democratic banner, the same banner that will carry Barack Obama’s name come November.

When Jones was given the endorsement, it caused a major uproar, because the committee did not endorse by an up or down vote. This caused the other candidates to cry foul and claim that Jones obtained the endorsement through backroom deals and they leveled many other harsh political terms like “egregious” “inappropriate” and a “conflict of interest”. Candidate Paul Goldman even suggested that Jones not refer to himself as the endorsed candidate until the whole thing gets hashed out.

Goldman, supported by Robert Grey and Bill Pantele has filed a formal appeal to revisit the endorsement, which will be heard tomorrow night. Today he called a press conference along with Grey and Pantele to reiterate his strong opposition to the way the endorsement was handled.

During the press conference, (which was held outside the offices of the Times-Dispatch, apparently in an effort to maximize coverage and leave the paper without an excuse not to cover it). Goldman went as far as to say that if Jones were elected Mayor along with the taint of this unfair endorsement deal, he may not be able to compentently serve the people. Here is his quote:

“We cannot afford to do it wrong because when the next mayor speaks and asks for sacrifice and the people think that he was elected by a tainted process, the people will not follow that Mayor.”

Another interesting side note to this impromptu press conference, was a side story that is indicative of the fight for coverage amongst the 5 candidates for Mayor. Paul Goldman regularly calls press conferences and sends out press releases, many of which never get covered. About a month ago, the opponents in the race started a new tactic where they banded together to hold events, hoping to entice the media to show. (Which worked to a point).

However, given the limits of their time, the candidates don’t often hedge their bets and show up to these events because they don’t want to be left standing around waiting for the media that may never show. Today two of the candidates scheduled to appear were there and one was not. That was until our cameras rolled up (we were the only tv station to cover the event). At that point this particular candidate’s staffer frantically called him and told him it might not be a bad idea if he showed up. He was there within 20 minutes.

I let you decide which candidate of the three in attendance fits which role.

We’ll have pictures from the event during tonight’s 6pm newscast.

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 5, 2008 at 9:42 pm

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