RICHMOND, Va. -- Ahead of the Nov. 8 election, Richmond mayoral candidate Jack Berry joined CBS 6 in the studio for an interview and then answer questions from voters via Facebook live.
Mr. Berry is the last candidate to join CBS 6 for this interview series; the other interviews can be seen here.
Berry most recently spent 10 years as the Executive Director at Venture Richmond, a public-private partnership that promotes the economic development of downtown Richmond. The organization manages the Riverfront Canal Walk and produces major festivals and events, including Friday Cheers, 2nd Street Festival, and the Richmond Folk Festival.
Prior to that position, Berry was the County Administrator of Hanover County for six years.
Before that, Berry served as deputy city manager and chief of staff for the City of Richmond. Berry said of that position that he was “responsible for the Finance and Administration portfolio and oversaw many of the City’s largest operating departments.”
Berry also served Richmond as the city budget director. Berry established Richmond Ambulance while serving as deputy city manager, in response to the collapse of private ambulance services.
He maintains that he will help unify the community, work together across racial lines, and engage in honest conversations about issues that divide the city.
“As Mayor, I will lead and support the innovative efforts of the Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building,” Berry said. “This includes attacking poverty from every angle, housing, transportation, public safety, job training and health initiatives.”
Berry has laid out his education priorities on his campaign website. Richmond voters have ranked schools as a top issue for the next mayor.
Berry also emphasizes that the city needs to provide basic, essential services really well, and “expertly manage City finances for the benefit of every citizen and taxpayer.”
Though polls have a majority of Richmond voters undecided, Berry held second place in a recent Chamber RVA poll. The same poll showed he had a lead in three districts – while candidate Joe Morrissey led in the other six.
According to that poll, candidate Levar Stoney – who has fundraised a historic amount of money – is right behind Berry, though again, a majority of voters remain undecided. Berry raised more cash than Stoney in the most recent filing period.
He was recently endorsed by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and others in the business community: former VCU President Eugene Trani, former city manager turned consultant Robert Bobb, and the Richmond Association of Realtors.
Viola Baskerville, a long-time leader and Richmond native who served as Secretary of Administration under then-Governor Tim Kaine called Berry a “true public servant” in her endorsement of him.