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Joe Morrissey Eyes Return to Political Ring

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Joe's back … sort of.

"Fightin' Joe" Morrissey, the former Richmond commonwealth's attorney who gained notoriety for his headline-friendly approach to prosecution and his occasional personal life foibles, has not officially declared that he's running for the House of Delegates.

But Morrissey has sent some rather handsomely printed, four-color mailers to potential voters in anticipation of the June 12 Democratic primary.



If he runs, it'll be for the 74th District seat occupied by Delegate Donald McEachin.

Despite the empirical evidence to the contrary, Morrissey says, "I have not officially announced my candidacy."

News of his possible run has popped up on the political blog Not Larry Sabato. Writes one sarcastic poster on the site: "I love Morrissey! I didn't know he had a first name though."

Another blogger made reference to Morrissey's disbarment, two convictions for assault and his departure, beneath dark clouds, from the Richmond area. Not to mention his brief jail stint for slugging a defense attorney.

Others running or rumored to be considering a run for the same seat also will check significant political baggage at the terminal gate:

▪ Accused of inertia, former Richmond City Councilwoman Jackie Jackson, who lost in November to council firecracker Reva Trammell.

▪ Former Delegate Floyd H. Miles Sr., who lost his seat to McEachin.

▪ David Lambert, son of Sen. Benjamin Lambert (whom McEachin seeks to beat for Senate in the same primary).

Reached at a number he provided on his campaign mailer, Morrissey was hesitant to answer questions because, he says, he's not yet officially declared himself as a candidate.

"I got into this to explore the candidacy," he says, "and while I'm certainly very much serious about it, I'm going to wait a little bit more before I officially announce."

Morrissey, who's been away for a number of years teaching law in Ireland and Australia, says he returned to Henrico County in June and has occupied himself since as an owner of group homes for mentally retarded people. S

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