Democratic former lawmaker Joe Morrissey, known for weathering controversy, has filed to run against state Sen. Rosalyn Dance, D-Petersburg, in the June primary. A party official said he will qualify for the ballot.
Morrissey will make an announcement on Wednesday evening at the Satellite Restaurant in Richmond.
Jamie Nolan, chairwoman of the Democratic Party’s nominating committee for the Senate district, said Morrissey has qualified for the ballot.
He said in an interview Tuesday that he filed double the required 250 signatures needed to get on the ballot and has knocked on close to 5,000 doors. He also mentioned a video he made in which he asked people in Senate District 16 if they wanted him to run.
“We’ll be doing five more – excuse me – if I decide to run we’ll be doing five more,” Morrissey said.
Dance, a former Petersburg mayor who was first elected in a 2014 special election, announced her re-election plans in a March 14 news release.
“While this has been a difficult General Assembly Session, with Virginia government officials struggling and many citizens feeling hurt and disillusioned, I have worked hard to focus on improving lives and situations,” she said in the news release. “The best way to remedy the past is to create a better, stronger future.”
Morrissey is a former Richmond commonwealth’s attorney who in 2014, while a member of the House of Delegates, was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor involving relations with a then-17-year-old employee of his law firm, whom he later married.
He ran against Dance in 2015 but dropped out, citing medical reasons, then finished third in the 2016 race for Richmond mayor.
The Senate district includes Petersburg and parts of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties and parts of Hopewell and Richmond.