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Mayoral Debate 2020 at Virginia Union University 
September 24, 2020

Moderators: Governor L. Douglas Wilder  |  Juan Conde, WRIC Anchor 

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Live Broadcast on WRIC-TV8
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Streaming LIVE Facebook and

Click the following links to view additional video messages from Governor L. Douglas Wilder: Video 2 | Video 3 | Video 4 | Video 5 | Video 6 | Video 7 | Video 8

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Richmond Mayoral Debate hosted by Virginia Union University and WRIC ABC 8News. This debate marks the first of the 2020 campai is heard as we decide who should hold one of the most important elected offices in Richmond! We encourage you to participate by submitting your question(s) here. Please note that due to time constraints, there will be a limit to the number of questions presented during the debate. Questions must be submitted on or before Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m. for consideration. Again, thank you for your participation. We hope to see you on Thursday, Sept. 24, beginning 5 p.m. 

Meet The Candidates 

Levar M. Stoney was sworn in as Richmond's 80th Mayor on Dec. 31, 2016. He is the youngest mayor ever elected to serve the city.

Mayor Stoney was raised in Virginia by his grandmother and his father, a custodian. A product of Virginia public schools, he grew up on free and reduced lunch and was the first in his family to earn a high school diploma. He went on to graduate from James Madison University, before moving to Richmond to begin a career in public service.

After serving as a Governor's Fellow in then-Governor Mark Warner's office, he became the first African American Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the youngest member of Governor Terry McAuliffe's cabinet.

As Secretary, he led the largest, most public-facing office of the Governor's cabinet, and was the driving force behind transforming the process that restores civil and voting rights. Under his leadership, Virginia restored more rights than any other state in the country and more than the past seven administrations combined.

Mayor Stoney served as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia during a transformative time for the state, leading to President Obama's historic Virginia victory in 2008. At the time, he was the youngest leader of a state Democratic Party in the country. In 2013, he served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Governor McAuliffe's successful gubernatorial campaign.

He is a 2006 alumnus of the Minority Political Leadership Institute here in Richmond, and serves on a number of civic and community boards including the VCU Massey Cancer Center Advisory Board; Great Aspirations Scholarship Program (GRASP), a college- access organization; NextUp, an after-school program network; and the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation 2019 Commemoration. A proud member of Richmond Crusade for Voters and the NAACP, he also serves as co-chairman of the Capital Region Collaborative and sits on the board of Venture Richmond.

Alexsis Rodgers is a civic leader, organizer, policy director and champion for proactive and progressive leadership. She currently is the Virginia state director for Care in Action, the policy and advocacy home for two million women domestic workers, and is the former president of the Virginia Young Democrats. For the past eight years, Rodgers has been on the front lines advocating for economic security, voting rights, college affordability and quality health care; playing a key role in achieving Medicaid expansion and increasing birth control access during her time at Planned Parenthood in Richmond. Rodgers is a VCU grad and avid Rams basketball fan.

Justin Griffin is running for mayor of Richmond because he believes we deserve better. Justin is a small business lawyer with an accounting degree and a minor in economics. He has helped over 500 small businesses in Virginia. Justin got involved politically opposing the Navy Hill project through his analysis of the project on his website, and decided to run for office after seeing no change in the status quo coming from any of the declared candidates. He lives south of the river and is a member at Richmond’s First Baptist Church.

Tracey McLean is a native of Richmond, a mother, a wife, and a business owner; She has deeply rooted in her community as well as her faith.  Tracey has grown up attending the Richmond Public School system, so she knows firsthand some of the challenges that the school system still faces. Tracey McLean is a member of such groups as the NAACP, Women in Film and television, Metropolitan Business League, Humane Society, and BMI. Tracey Mclean is also an award-winning author and talk show host. She has written a series of books, produced & filmed tv shows, manage artists, and host a radio talk and Tv show. Tracey McLean has been a woman of many hats, and she makes it a point to speak and stand for Change! Tracey feels that due to the current state of our city, we must act swiftly and vigorously. Standing together, healing together, and becoming a cohesive community. Tracey thinks that it is time to change the narrative and become the author of our own story as a community while bridging the gap.

Kim Gray, a native Richmonder,  is a committed mother, civic leader, and public servant.  Kim served two Virginia governors, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. In 2016 she was elected to Richmond City Council, having previously served two terms on the city’s School Board.

Kim has worked with groups such as the Historic Jackson Ward Association, the NAACP, the Parent Teacher Student Association and the Richmond Crusade for Voters. She is a graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond and the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. Kim was educated in Richmond’s public schools, as were her children.