RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond’s City Council needs a new president next year, but first comes the business of picking a new 9th District council member for the Southside.

Council president Michael Jones won an uncontested Virginia House of Delegates seat in the Nov. 7 elections. He submitted his resignation, effective a minute before the new year, to take office in January when the General Assembly convenes.

Now, the council needs to find someone to finish the rest of Jones’ term, which ends on Dec. 31, 2024. The council is asking interested eligible voters living in the city’s South Central district to apply for the interim role.

The council is taking applications online and at the Richmond city clerk’s office until noon on Nov. 27. Council members will review the applications and “vet” the candidates before deciding, per Council Vice President Kristen Nye.

Applicants will also get a chance to pitch themselves at the council’s Organizational Development Standing Committee meeting on Dec. 4.

Whoever is appointed will take over in January, becoming a crucial vote on the nine-member council in the final year of Mayor Levar Stoney’s term. The interim appointee won’t likely have a leadership role but could shake things up in replacing Jones.

The council is Richmond’s governing body, responsible for representing city residents, proposing and passing local laws and voting on priorities such as the budget. Under city rules and the law, the council can appoint a replacement because Jones’ term ends the same year as the council’s general election.