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Justin Griffin, Prominent Critic of Coliseum Plan, Exploring Run for Mayor


Justin Griffin, a prominent critic of Mayor Levar Stoney's Coliseum proposal and a Style Weekly Top 40 under 40 winner from last year, has announced via news release that he is "seriously exploring" a run for mayor.

A small business attorney, Griffin runs the website and you can check out his Griffin for Mayor website here.

As he notes in the release, he has written op-eds for Style Weekly "investigating fiscal irresponsibility within city government and critiquing the lack of urgency in addressing the needs of residents by the city’s elected officials."

Here's his full statement from the release:

“I have been getting questions asking if I am considering a run for mayor and suggestions that I should, so I wanted to take a moment to address that.

I decided to speak out against Mayor Stoney’s Coliseum proposal because I care about Richmond. When I saw all the proposal’s flaws and the deceptive way he was pitching it to the people I decided, “You either have to stop caring or you have to step up and do something about it.” So I worked tirelessly to provide the people with detailed and honest analysis.

In the end, I was proud to stand with a diverse group of concerned Richmonders and together we were successful in educating City Council on why this was a bad deal for the city.

Now that Mayor Stoney’s arena plan has finally been rejected, we must have the same strength for doing as we did for opposition. We must actually do what we have always just talked about.

So yes, I am seriously exploring a run for mayor because I again must ask, “Do I stop caring or do I step up and do something about it?”

For many years, Richmond’s elected officials have operated with misplaced priorities. Instead of focusing with urgency on improving our schools and neighborhoods, they continue to spend all their time on big-shiny-projects and their political futures. No one in the current field of candidates would lead to a change in the status quo. Richmond deserves better.

My potential opponents have long been part of the political machine that directs them to take action based on polling data and the advice of well-connected players. I am not a politician, so if I run it will be for no other reason than to give everything I have to improve the everyday lives of the people of Richmond.

So I seek your input. I want to hear your concerns and your vision for Richmond. Because at the end of the day, this is not about me. This is about the residents of Richmond and putting their priorities first. This is about building a better Richmond that works for everyone. A Richmond with better schools, better roads, and better city services. Because that is what we all deserve.

I will announce my final decision in March and until then, I look forward to hearing from you.”

The statement was posted on social media and also on a new website,

About Justin Griffin: Read more about Griffin at