RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Unofficial election results from the Richmond mayoral race show incumbent Levar Stoney with a lead in enough city council districts to win reelection.
In Richmond, a candidate for mayor must get the majority of votes in at least five of the nine city council districts to win the race. The mayor declared victory in the race Wednesday after unofficial results showed him leading in six districts.
“I am humbled by the results of this election and eager to get back to the important work of building One Richmond. Serving as Mayor of Richmond has been the honor of a lifetime,” Stoney said in a statement. “Thank you to all the supporters and volunteers who made this victory possible – I could not have done this without you. Most importantly, thank you to the voters for having faith in me and my vision for the city over the next four years.”
According to the results, Stoney received 39,934 of the 104,900 votes cast in the city. The total vote, which could still increase, has already surpassed the 2016 mayoral race total of 101,617.
Kirk Showalter, Richmond’s general registrar, said Wednesday that she expected to get the district breakdown of the city’s mayoral race online later in the afternoon but that she didn’t anticipate final results until next week.
“We must, by law, accept absentee ballots mailed by Tuesday and postmarked that arrive with us by Friday noon. As such, the current absentee totals are likely to increase. It is difficult to know by exactly how much,” Showalter told 8News. “Combine that with the extraordinarily large number of provisional ballots that we have, I do not expect any final results until Tuesday of next week.”
The city reported its absentee ballot data to the state’s department of elections at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, but did not provide totals for individual districts initially. The district breakdown of the absentee count, which can be found above, was shared with 8News before the unofficial results were shared online.
“We want to make sure it’s accurate information, like I tell people, the mechanics of actually crunching the numbers, it’s more than hitting a couple of buttons on the computer, you have to verify things,” James Nachman, the chair of city of Richmond electoral board, told 8News’ Laura Perrot on Wednesday.
One of Stoney’s top challengers, Alexsis Rodgers, said that her campaign will wait for the official results in the race moments after the updated totals were published. According to the results, Rodgers took two districts, including the district that Councilwoman Kim Gray served before running for mayor, the 2nd District.
“Waiting is hard, but our democracy is worth it. Richmonders deserve the confidence that every vote is counted in the mayor’s race,” Rodgers said in a statement. “We have many outstanding votes and will await for the official results to be announced. While votes are still being counted, one thing is clear – Richmond is hungry for change.”
Gray, a former RPS school board member, shared her gratitude for her time on the council and those who helped her during her run for mayor in a statement to 8News’ Ben Dennis.
“It has been the honor of my life to serve on city council for four years and the school board for eight years,” Gray said in a text message. “I deeply appreciate the sacrifices of my family and my supporters during my mayoral campaign. All of us remain committed as citizens to making Richmond the fair, honest and inclusive city it needs to be.”
This story is developing. Stay with 8News for updates.