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Local Blogger Eyes Council Seat (Updated)

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Neighborhood blogger and middle school history teacher John Murden says he will run for the 7th District City Council seat if the current occupant, Delores McQuinn, wins election to the House of Delegates in January as expected.

McQuinn won the Democratic primary Dec. 6 and is running unopposed for the 70th District House of Delegates seat being vacated by Mayor-elect Dwight Jones. A special election to fill the seat will be held Jan. 6.

Murden is best known for launching the Church Hill People's News, a neighborhood news blog.

“What makes [a run] possible is the energy and enthusiasm and positiveness of getting people to work with each other,” through the blog, he says.

The 7th District includes the East End and Church Hill, which is facing a multitude of complex issues in the next year or two, including controversial projects such as Echo Harbour and the Shockoe Bottom ballpark and redevelopment proposal.

Murden joins at least five other potential candidates for the Council seat, including local preservationist Jennie Dotts; McQuinn's son, James Minor; Antoine Green, president of the Richmond Crusade for Voters; Anthony Dale, a City Council budget analyst; and Matthew Conrad, president of the Union Hill Civic Association and a former prosecutor in the Virginia Attorney General's office. 

City Council will appoint someone to fill the seat in January until a special election is held in November 2009. 

“Working at the schools and being part of the New Visions Civic Association has given me a perspective on the history of the neighborhood,” he says. “Not the Patrick Henry history of our neighborhood, [but] how we are rebuilding communities.”

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