Mayor Jones now has an opponent on November ballot

After months of legal challenging, a judge has ruled that Michael K. Ryan Jr. has earned enough signatures to put him on the November ballot.

Mayor Dwight Jones will not run unopposed after all. On Monday, a Richmond Circuit Court Judge ordered the city’s voter registrar to place Michael K. Ryan, Jr. on the ballot. The decision comes after Ryan’s legal representatives spent three months arguing in court that their client had accumulated the necessary 500 signatures of registered voters needed to run.

City registrar J. Kirk Showalter had previously deemed several of Ryan’s signatures as inadequate. Showalter argued that voter addresses did not match his office’s verification, signatories had not updated their voter registration after being requested to do so, among other concerns, voiding his ability to run for mayor. However, Richmond Circuit Court Judge Melvin R. Hughes, Jr. has ruled that those signatures cannot be discounted by the registrar, allowing Ryan’s name to appear on the ballot in November.

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Go Mike Ryan!!!

  2. Yes please let’s vote this apathetic mayor out. I have no doubt that he is a good man and a good minister to his congregation but a mayor he is not.

  3. anonymous on said:

    Although I am glad he got on the ballot, I don’t think Ryan has what it takes. At the candidate forum last night, all he seemed to want to talk about was giving more incentives to bring a Target or Trader Joes’ into the City. We have enough of these type politicians already.

  4. Anon E. Mouse on said:

    anon, aren’t you tired of shopping in Henrico?

  5. anonymous on said:

    I would rather support and build our small businesses rather than giving away even more corporate welfare.

  6. Anon E. Mouse on said:

    So, where do you buy YOUR sox and underwear?

  7. Let's be honest on said:

    City registrar should be investigated! All the candidates who turned in signatures and not on the ballot be placed on the ballot for the local races because the registrar used outdated voter information.

  8. anonymous on said:

    Anon E. Mous, if I want cheap access to goods, I can buy off the internet and get free delivery to boot.
    But the point is we are giving away too much to corporations, period.
    The real needs are not more socks from China (no matter where they are bought) but good jobs and local ownership that keeps money in the City. Selling out these things to cheap corporate big box stores is weak.

  9. Anon E. Mouse on said:

    So the answer is you buy sox of the internet?

    Unlike you, most people have to travel outside of Richmond to buy basic necessities, burning gas, polluting the air and taking tax dollars and jobs out of the city. Those who can’t, have to pay higher prices for a smaller selection of goods. I’d rather by my stuff from stores right here in Richmond that employ city residents, pay city taxes and I can get to without driving. So if Ryan is in favor of these things, good for him.

  10. anonymous on said:

    And what happens when the profits and the taxes City customers pay go right back to corporate profits and corporate welfare?
    Yes, we need local stores, but we don’t need to keep handing out more and more incentives to big business, which was my point in the first place.
    Sadly, Ryan joins too many other politicians in promoting corporate welfare, something you think is a good thing.

  11. Anon E. Mouse on said:

    What happens when businesses make money? They stay in business, they hire more people, they expand and they generate tax revenue versus they other kind of businesses that lose money, lay off workers and go out of business. I have no problem with businesses making money.

  12. anonymous on said:

    I have no problem with businesses making money on their own, I have a problem with CORPORATE WELFARE. Richmond needs to cut the crap.

  13. south barton on said:

    anon- the larger you type “corporate welfare” is not proportionate to how correct your point is. please explain your point further, do you have any examples to cite? I would love to get a trader joe’s or whole foods within the city of richmond. You speak of good jobs, yeah Whole foods has good middle class jobs that pay a fair wage with good benefits vs ellwoods who pays very poorly.

  14. Anon: Thanks for your comments. The sad truth as we discussed last night is that 40% of African American families in Richmond live at or below the poverty line as set by President Obama. And GRTC can’t get them to where the majority of jobs are. First, I don’t believe in corporate welfare. If incentives make financial sense and can be justified, that’s good. But no handouts with taxpayer money. The reality is that we in the city will support businesses if they simply come and setup shop. But our current government is not out on the streets selling our fine city. I love small businesses like Dogma in Cary Town and Cross Roads on Semmes (say “hi” to Will for me and go for the breakfast burrito and beer no matter what time of day it is). But we need way more jobs than they alone can provide. Every day is another day that we lose revenue from Richmonders to county merchants. And that means jobs too. Over the next four years we can bring small, medium and larger businesses to our city…but not by what we have been doing over the last four. Here is a question for you: Forgetting about Target and Wal-Mart on Forest Hill, where inside the City of Richmond can you buy a flat screen TV? You can’t! (Unless you go to Sears for a scratch & dent.) We are the capital of Virginia and you can’t even buy a TV to watch our Rams play. And please correct me if I am wrong.

  15. Anon E. Mouse on said:

    I’m sure if you shout loud enough you’ll get your way.

  16. We just created a new drinking game – everytime “anonymous” used the phrase “corporate welfare” we get to take a drink.

  17. @Karen LOLOLOLOLOL

  18. anonymous on said:

    You heard the lady- drink up!

  19. I had come up with a similar game where anonymous also gets the check.

  20. Randal on said:

    Hello Mike Ryan. I live on the line between Henrico County and Richmond,VA and I have the deepest concerns for both because I consider myself a resident of both areas I believe when we have a strong city core, the rest of the region will benefit and become stronger as one. Independent City-County laws have been placed in the city since the 20th Century and the poverty line could possibly be a result of that (if you look a Richmond’s history, I’m guaranteed that could be it). North Richmond, East End and South Side-Manchester Richmond neighborhoods are experiencing slow, but definite and steady progress of revitalization concerning efforts to decreasing crime, updating and build new housing and providing and restructuring education to low performing schools. Sometimes, they don’t receive enough attention from city government as a whole. Do you have any attempts to increase the revitalization process for the residents (current and newer) and independent businesses since you have history as a Real Estate broker? The Admissions Tax and the Meal Tax are also one of biggest issues that are rarely touched, that I consider a disappointment in itself. The taxes mentioned above almost relate to one of your top priorities,Jobs and Tourism. How would you handle those issues? And how would you handle the projects now that Mayor Jones are currently handling now (new baseball stadium, new arena, Redskins Football Camp, Road World Championship 2015, Riverfront Plan, GRTC Broad Street Rapid Transit Study, Shockoe Bottom Master Plan; etc.)? There’s plenty questions I can ask you, but these are one few that concern me in particular? Again, thank you.

  21. anonymous on said:
  22. Very good point Randal in regards the Independent City (Dillon Rule) laws. Richmond is strangled economically and politically by the Dillon Rule and State and Federal laws that have kept us from growing. A coalition of vested interests, both in the City and Counties, make these almost impossible to redress.

  23. Melissa on said:

    Isn’t the Target in Stratford Hills inside the city limits? Come on over, neighbors. Eat lunch at a small business while you’re here.

  24. south barton on said:

    Melissa, you and Mike Ryan are both in agreement on that. Read his post a little closer.

  25. Randal: Great questions! And yes I am like you in that we need a strong city core and better regional working relationships. I don’t know the percentages but there are a lot of people who either live on the “line” between the city and counties, or who spent time in both for work, shopping, etc. An example of how some areas are flourishing and other are stagnate is North Jackson Ward (the portion of Jackson Ward that is north of 95 and was cut off when Eisenhower built the Interstates in the 1960’s). The part of Jackson Ward that most people are familiar with is booming and a place to call home. North of 95, well not so much. I believe we need to revisit the real estate tax abatement program and ramp it up for people willing to buy vacant homes, especially first time home buyers (investors only as a last resort). The city could assemble a team of local banks willing to streamline the lending process and make money available for improvements. The meals tax and what I will refer to as the ticket tax on entertainment is a sore subject with me. The meals tax was pitched as temporary and needs to be reversed. There are some good ideas out there for the Coliseum and Diamond. One suggestion is a $2 tax on airline flights out of and to RIC. Interesting but RIC is already an expensive place to fly in and out of so let’s not scare off any low cost providers (although AZ did it with a $9 fee and paid for Sun Devil Stadium). Huge fan of Rapid transit but let’s not stop at Willow Lawn and instead go all the way to Short Pump. And why not run buses up Monument Ave for concerts at Snag a job? Virginia Beach carries concert goers to and from the Boardwalk…for free! But our bus system needs to be re-thought. We have lived in the Maymont neighborhood for 4 years. Every 20 minutes or so a big bus rolls through with one or no riders. Why not use smaller buses or vans? With the Diamond we need to reach a consensus of where we want it and then move forward (“we” means our county neighbors as they are stake holders too. We cannot ask them to put up money but have no voice). Personally I like where it is now but can only speak for myself. I feel it’s the best spot to add retail and residences to offset some of the costs. But watching a game overlooking theJames or being able to hang out at an eatery in the Bottom would be super appealing. Thanks!

  26. Mike Ryan – you have my vote in November!!!!!

  27. anonymous on said:

    Mr. Ryan, I take it from your answer that you would be in favor of rescinding the meals tax increase that Council passé din order to pay for Center Stage? That is welcome news.

    On another subject, the Sierra Club has a petition with about 1300 signatures asking that the City of Richmond lower the minimum monthly water/sewer service charge to no more than $15 per month. The current minimum monthly service charge for water and sewer service is $49.40 per month, which is the highest in the country. This outrageous service charge is unfair to low-income residents and to those who conserve water. As a candidate for City Council, will you endorse lowering the city’s minimum service charge to $15 per month, which is line with other localities?

  28. There are some good ideas out there for the Coliseum and Diamond. One suggestion is a $2 tax on airline flights out of and to RIC.

    I always like it when non city residents help pay our taxes. Same thing happens with the meals, lodgings and admissions taxes. Somehow the people keep coming and new restaurants keep opening.

  29. anonymous on said:

    Usually, economic studies provided to support such claims fail to factor in the “substitution effect.” That is, if people spend money to attend an event, they usually don’t spend it elsewhere. And the multipliers used by some consultants — for example, that dollar a tourist spends at Skins camp winds up in the paycheck of a camp employee, who then spends that dollar — fail to account for what economists call “leakages.”

    “For example, suppose you have more people using the hotels,” Baade says. “But suppose the hotels that you use are part of a nationally known chain. Suppose the profits are repatriated to the corporate headquarters. Rather, the money is leaving the community shortly after it gets there.”

  30. Well Scott, you have a way of ignoring the point. The goal is to get them to spend their money here. Those people might have spent their money elsewhere, but most likely not in Richmond. Also, before that money leaves the community, the hotels will pay their local employees, their local suppliers and local taxes. If they should make enough money they will look into building more hotel rooms, hiring more people and paying more of our local taxes.

    I know you find this hard to believe, but there are not dark clouds behind every silver lining.

  31. Absolutely yes to rescinding the meals tax!!! Does anyone in government know what the word temporary actually means? If the administration would start listening to the city auditor and implement what he recommends, we wouldn’t need to “over charge” people when they eat out. In regard to the water bill, I have no idea why we have such a large minimum bill but it seems outrageous. I would be supportive and even champion bringing those charges down and in-line with other localities. I cannot promise $15 without going over the math but I would push for it.

  32. NEWS FLASH: Looks like a Wal-Mart is coming to the former Reynolds site in Manchester (behind Legend’s). Supposedly it’s a done deal but the city has been hush on the subject most likely out of fear of push back from local residents. Yes, it will mean jobs and a much needed grocery store for the area. And yes, Wal-Mart has done a fantastic job of designing more urban looking stores like the newer store in Lynchburg. At the same time I don’t think I want to be sitting outside at Legend’s enjoying a beer while overlooking Sam Walton’s name sake. Where the heck is Trader Joe’s or Kroger’s??? Did anyone at the city speak to them?

  33. Mike Ryan can you share your source for the Wal-Mart going into Manchester? I find it hard to believe that the city could keep such major news under their hat.

  34. Mr. Ryan may have Reynolds Crossing mixed up with Reynalds Aluminum.

    Reynolds Crossing Walmart approved

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