Two former mayors have made their endorsements in November's city elections.
The Greater Richmond Empowerment & Advocacy Think Tank, known as GREATT, headed by former mayor Walter T. Kenney Sr., announced it is supporting Dwight C. Jones for mayor.
Roy West, also a former mayor and the group's spokesman, says the endorsements come after an extensive survey and interview process. He says the group employs a tabulated scoring process, not a deliberative one, and that City Council President Bill Pantele came up a few points short of getting the nod.
Pantele is the only member of City Council not defending his seat. Of the eight remaining incumbents, the group endorsed five, conspicuously leaving out the traditionally pro-Wilder minority of Marty Jewell, Reva Trammell and Doug Connor.
Presently, the year-old think tank has 21 members including Judge Willard H. Douglas Jr., among the first African-American judges in Virginia. Although they felt making the endorsements was important, they plan to focus more on regional policy issues.
“Education, transportation, housing — anything that would improve the life of those in the metropolitan area,” West says.