At a recent breakfast meeting of the Richmond Business Council, Conner planted the seed for his campaign. He says he’s seen Hull Street businesses come and go — and with them, residents’ frustration with what he calls a lack of resources.
“People need services like the cleanups and police protection,” he says. These are on the rise elsewhere but haven’t yet made an impact in South Side.
He supports Hedgepeth’s initiative for a community center, he says, because the youth in South Side need a place to go. Already he’s studying the budget and the city’s educational system to follow the trail of money and resources.
He also supports an elected mayor and four-year terms for council members. “I see a lot of bureaucracy,” he says of what holds the city back. Conner pledges to bring “credibility” to City Council and the know-how to work well with regional administrators, particularly in Chesterfield.
Conner, a member of the advisory boards for the Richmond and Chesterfield technical centers, is taking several Richmond School Board members on a trip to Chantilly this week to learn how its trade school changed its image and attracted more students.
Conner says his family was surprised at first by his desire to run for City Council, but they’re behind him. Both of his sons work in the family business that boasts a running team and a company chaplain.
“I’m not a career politician,” he says. “I’m an easygoing guy, and I don’t have a big ego.”
At press time, Council had not appointed an interim replacement for Hedgepeth. — Brandon Walters
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