Tony Cosby knows his run for Henrico County Board of Supervisors against long-time Fairfield District supervisor Frank Thornton will be uphill, which is why he's enthusiastic about entering the fight with allies.
He recently announced a planned strategic partnership and political action committee with two other men who have also announced their intentions to run for Henrico County elected office.
"I call it the Truth PAC because we're going after the truth with everything that's going on here," Cosby says.
But both of his alleged allies say there's not as much truth to Cosby's Truth PAC as the name might imply.
The Rev. Tyrone Nelson, pastor of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Jackson Ward, says he first heard of his alliance with Cosby in a message on his phone left by Style.
"I was actually a little irritated when I heard that I was part of a PAC," says Nelson. "I'm running as an individual in Varina for School Board."
Nelson, who officially filed to run last Monday, is running against 11-year School Board veteran Hugh C. Palmer.
"I don't have anything against Mr. Cosby I respect what he's trying to do," Nelson says. "But Tony Cosby contacted me once. It was a two-minute conversation."
In Nelson's estimation, two minutes is barely time for greetings and salutations, let alone the forging of a lasting political partnership. "He dropped a hint about [an alliance], but I committed to nothing."
Lamont Bagby, a business teacher at Henrico High School, plans a run for the School Board seat occupied by Board Chairman Lloyd E. Jackson Jr. He says his focus is on fixing the disparity between East End and West End Henrico schools.
"Tony called me for the first time this past Sunday," Bagby said last week. "I didn't know anything about the coalition piece or an alliance. I'm definitely not part of a group I'm scared of a group right now."
Cosby, who makes his living as a Martin Luther King Jr. re-enactor, had planned to kick off the Truth PAC campaign in a joint appearance with his would-be running mates at 4 p.m. April 8, Easter Sunday, at Mama Mary's Sugar and Spice Restaurant on Mechanicsville Turnpike in eastern Henrico.
But the event may well be dinner for one.
"I'm reluctant to attend it now," says Bagby, who'd originally committed to the Sugar and Spice gig. But that was before he found out he'd be there to officially hitch his campaign wagon to someone he'd never met. "In light of this information. ... I don't know about attending." S