Cynthia Newbille, one of a dozen candidates who submitted her name for City Council to consider as a replacement for Delwegate Delores McQuinn's vacant 7th district seat, has withdrawn herself from the selection process and announced her intention to run for the seat in the November election.
In an e-mail letter to Council President Kathy Graziano, sent Jan. 29, Newbille wrote: “My request is predicated upon and in response to recently articulated concerns about the selection of an interim appointee who intends to run for the seat in November. I will run for the seat in November, seeking the support of the citizens of my District.”
Newbille moved to the 7th District in early January. Previously, her address was listed in Henrico County, though she'd also previously resided in the 6th District and has a long history of civic work in the city's East End.
Despite her long history of work in the district, Newbille had drawn fire for seeking to represent the 7th District from a number of quarters, and criticism on a local blog, the Church Hill People's News, has been fast and furious. In addition to attacking her credibility as a resident, comments left on the blog also blasted her past connections to McQuinn and to McQuinn's political patron, state Sen. Henry Marsh.
In summarizing her intent in the letter, Newbille reiterated her intent to run for the seat during the special election, writing that the letter “constitutes my first official announcement of my candidacy for the 7th District council seat in the upcoming November election.”
With Newbille out of contention for the appointment, the field remains crowded, with everyone from former School Board member Keith West to longtime civic and political leader Betty Squire. Others seeking the appointment are preservationist Jennie Dotts, retired teacher Sharon C. Burton, political consultant Matthew A. Conrad, civic and political consultant John L. Gerner, former 7th District council candidate Clarence Kenney, McQuinn's former council liaison Samuel Patterson III, Garry Powell, Robin D. Robinson, and Carletta Wilson.
Below is the text of Newbille's letter:
January 29, 2009
Ms. Cathy Graziano, President
Richmond City Council
City of Richmond
900 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
First, I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Council members and all of the citizens who have supported my quest for the interim appointment to the 7th District Council seat recently vacated by newly elected Virginia General Assembly Delegate Delores McQuinn.
I do herewith respectfully request the withdrawal of my application to be appointed by the City Council to fill the 7th District Council seat.
I look forward to a successful campaign in November, and to working collaboratively with the City Council, Mayor, School Board, citizens, businesses, service providers and other community partners to craft a strategic agenda for our City that incorporates the priorities and supports the continued growth and progress of the 7th District.
Cc: Richmond City Council Members
Richmond City Clerk