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Joe Morrissey responds to attack ad by Michelle Mosby

RICHMOND, Va. -- Surrounded by his family on Wednesday, Joe Morrissey responded to a radio attack ad by one of his opponents in the Richmond mayoral race.

The attack came in the form of a 60 second radio spot in which Michelle Mosby challenged the former state delegate's record and his recent criminal history.

"You know…it's a political season. I get it lets attack people. I'm not going to do it," said Morrissey.

joe-morrissey and family

CBS 6 caught up with the Mayoral candidate at his Northside home.

"She's mired in fourth place, fifth place, probably had some guts and money, and say go attack Joe.  But do I think it's going to affect anything?  No, people aren't going to vote because you attack somebody.  They look at your body of work and they go from there," Morrissey said.

Up until now, Mosby has been focusing on her own platform of schools, jobs, and the city's poverty rate.

During Tuesday’s attack ad, the focus was on Morrissey.

"I'm a mom. I have a 26-year-old daughter. And I just can't imagine had this been her at 17 with her employer," said Mosby.

Michelle Mosby

Michelle Mosby

Here's a portion of that radio ad:

"Joe's the 57-year-old boss who claimed innocence but took an Alford plea for having sex with his employee -- a 17-year-old black girl -- then lied about it to keep himself out of jail."

"Right now, when you look at these polls Joe Morrissey is winning in Black communities. And I don't know if our black communities are really understanding whether he's really worked for us or he's capitalized off of us," said Mosby.

Morrissey is now married to his former employee, Myrna, and they have two children.


CBS 6 talked to some Richmond voters about the spot and some say they are unfazed by the attack ad.

"We all have a past. We've all done some things we're not too fond of," said Maiesha Hawkins.

CBS 6 Political analyst Doctor Bob Holsworth says it's unusual to see attack ads in a Mayor's race.

Holsworth questions who will benefit from it.

"I think what Michelle Mosby thinks is that she is taking Joe Morrissey on very much in the district where he is doing well. And that if anyone is going to benefit from that. I think she believes it's to be her," said Dr. Holsworth.