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Richmond Mayor Lavar Stoney Announces Run For Governor

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney officially declares his candidacy for governor in the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial race, joining U.S. Congresswoman Abigail Anne Spanberger in the Democratic field. Stoney, known for his two terms as mayor and previous role in Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration, reveals key campaign hires, signaling a strategic approach. As the race unfolds, other candidates, including potential Republican contenders, are expected to join, setting the stage for the election in 2025. #LevarStoney #GovernorRace #VirginiaPolitics #Election2025

By Rosaland Tyler
Associate Editor
New Journal and Guide

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has officially announced his intent to run for governor, after U.S. Congresswoman Abigail Anne Spanberger announced her Virginia gubernatorial campaign in mid-November.

Other candidates are expected to join Stoney and Spanberger. Both are Democrats. They aim to replace term-limited Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Election Day 2025. Potential Republican gubernatorial candidates include Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears and Attorney General Jason S. Mivares.

When reporters asked Stoney about his recent paperwork filing, he said, “There will be a point in time to talk about politics and my future, and you will probably be the first to know.”

Stoney, 42, made it official in a video announcement on Monday December 3. His resume includes two terms as mayor of Richmond.

According to Politico, he had already hired a chief strategist, ad-maker and a pollster, among others before the announcement.

Fred Yang, a prominent Democratic pollster with experience both in the state and on other gubernatorial campaigns, will oversee polling, according to Politico. Kevin Zeithaml, a longtime aide to Stoney, will serve as senior adviser. Alan Moore will lead direct mail. Becca Slutzky, a former executive director of the state party, will oversee digital fundraising; and Ian Mandel will lead research.

According to news reports, Eugene Vindman, one of the high-profile witnesses in former President Trump’s first impeachment trial, recently announced plans to run for Spanberger’s congressional seat.

Stoney and Spanberger are considered rising stars in the Democratic party.

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Stoney’s resume includes a stint as campaign manager for former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s successful gubernatorial campaign in 2013. Stoney went on to serve as McAuliffe’s secretary of the commonwealth. In that Cabinet position, Stoney helped develop McAuliffe’s policy to restore voting and other civil rights to 150,000 people who had completed their sentences for felony convictions.

Spanberger’s public service resume is also extensive. She has served as the U.S. representative from Virginia’s 7th congressional district since 2019. Spanberger is a former CIA officer. Spanberger defeated Republican incumbent Dave Brat in 2018.

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