Jones won’t reveal re-election plans; promises ballpark “will happen”
Mayor Dwight Jones was the go-to man for the Obama campaign today. He came to NBC12 today to presenting the campaign’s talking points on the successful jobs report. His role in the campaign shows what the Obama campaign thinks about him and perhaps and understanding of his potential as a candidate down the road.
But while Jones is an articulate voice for not only the Obama administration, but his own policies, one thing he is not right now is a candidate. Most expect the first term Mayor to run for re-election, and while there has been talk of potential opposition, he would be considered to be tough to beat.
The only problem? He hasn’t decided if he wants to run.
“I tell you what, when I decide I am going to let you be the first to know,” he jokingly told me during a one-on-one interview. (he was joking, but I plan to hold him to that)
For Jones his explanation is pretty simple. He just hasn’t had the time to think about mounting a re-election campaign because he has been too busy, being the Mayor.
“Well I have a lot on my plate and so the State of the City was a big thing and now I have the budget to do and we were working on the jail before that,” he said. “So really just a lot going on so I really have turned my attention to being ready to make an announcement one way or another.”
The chances that Jones does not run for re-election are pretty slim. He is still actively raising funds and has more than $80,000 in cash on hand. Some democratic advisers have privately hinted that Jones could be a potential statewide candidate. Perhaps as soon as 2013. His coy nature on the topic is most likely the product of building anticipation toward a major announcement, timed to get the maximum exposure.
Extended clips from the mayor on his re-election can be found below:
When the Mayor does decide, one of the biggest controversies he could face is the future of the popular Richmond minor league baseball club, the Flying Squirrels. The team has hinted that they were promised a new ballpark, but are frustrated with the lack of progress. They even said they won’t be afraid to leave town, if the progress doesn’t happen soon. The talk over the Squirrels future was a hot topic at the team’s recent Hot Stove banquet.
Jones simple message to baseball fans?
“It will happen.”
His full comments can be seen below: