The two special elections held after the political jockeying of former Del. Joseph D. Morrissey have cost taxpayers about $134,000, according to estimates provided by local elections officials. Voters in the 74th House District — which covers Charles City County and parts of Henrico County and Richmond — have gone to the polls twice in seven months as Morrissey battled to keep his seat while serving a jail sentence and, after winning, gave up his seat to run for the state Senate. Henrico, where most of the district’s voters reside, spent about $116,000. That includes $53,000 for the January special election and $63,000 for Tuesday’s special election, which Democrat Lamont Bagby won in a lopsided contest against independent David M. Lambert.
A Richmond Circuit Court judge on Tuesday denied former Del. Joseph D. Morrissey’s injunction to prevent printing of the ballots for the June 9 Democratic primary, ruling that he did not have a right to appeal. The court’s decision further reduces Morrissey’s chances of seeking the Democratic nomination as a candidate for the 16th state Senate district.
Joseph D. Morrissey, a former delegate from Henrico County running for the state Senate, has filed suit in Richmond Circuit Court, asking for a review of 750 petition signatures the Democratic Party of Virginia rejected last week, making him ineligible for the party’s June primary. Morrissey also is seeking a preliminary injunction, asking the court to prevent printing of the ballots, “in order to vindicate the rights of a candidate to appear on a ballot and the rights of citizens to participate in political speech,” according to the complaint filed Monday. “This getting on the ballot isn’t about me; it’s about a system that the Democratic Party is supporting that consistently disenfranchises thousands of African-American voters and deprives them of their First Amendment rights,” Morrissey said in an interview Wednesday.
Virginia: Democratic Party sued over way candidate was named to face Morrissey | The Washington Post
Three African American residents of Virginia filed a lawsuit Friday contending that their constitutional rights were violated by the process recently used to pick a Democratic challenger to convicted Del. Joseph D. Morrissey (I-Henrico). Morrissey was recently found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In a special election Jan. 13, he won decisively against both a Republican and the Democratic Party’s chosen candidate. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, argues that the Democratic Party, in its haste to distance itself from Morrissey, intentionally excluded African American voters from the process of nominating the challenger. African Americans make up about 60 percent of the House of Delegates district in question.
Virginia: Morrissey, in midst of six-month jail term, wins special election to Virginia House | The Washington Post
Joseph D. Morrissey was reelected Tuesday to the House of Delegates, opening another chapter in a made-for-TV-movie-style drama likely to captivate the General Assembly session starting Wednesday. Running as an independent, Morrissey defeated Democrat Kevin Sullivan and Republican Matt Walton. The heavily Democratic district mostly spans the Richmond suburb of Henrico County. With all precincts reporting, Morrissey won 42 percent of the vote, Sullivan 33 percent and Walton 24 percent, according to unofficial results. Sullivan quickly conceded after the results posted online: “I’m very proud of the campaign we put together in such a short time frame. We met tons of voters who are dissatisfied in their representation and ready for effective leadership in the State House. I look forward to continuing my work on improving the lives of working class families.”