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Levar Stoney, the mayor-elect of Richmond, is a graduate of Yorktown’s Tabb High School who stood out then and now as a budding public servant.
After a close contest Tuesday, Stoney emerged on top this week with 32,358 votes, or 35.81 percent, with 98.48 percent of precincts reporting, according to the state department of elections.
Stoney, who issued a release announcing his transition-team leadership Thursday, was not available for an interview. In a statement, though, he outlined a broad agenda.
“I am eager to move forward with key action steps highlighted throughout my campaign, such as launching a comprehensive performance review of City government, working to develop an Education Compact to improve our schools in a collaborative spirit, and prioritizing the needs of children in my first proposed budget,” he said in a release. “Finally, I am determined to assemble a team of talented and committed professionals to join me in taking the City of Richmond to the next level during my Administration.”
To educators who knew him back in the day, his path into public service comes as no surprise.
One of his former teachers recalled him as an active participant in her A.P. government class, a strong student who was outgoing, helpful and personable.
“He was just an all-around good guy,” said Sharon Carter, who now works as a media specialist at Warhill High School in Williamsburg.
Brad Williams, a school counselor at Tabb who was Stoney’s junior varsity basketball coach, echoed her assessment.
“He’s a really excellent young man,” said Williams. He described Stoney as a hard worker, with charisma and leadership skills who believed even as a teenager that he wanted a career in politics.
“He’s doing something now that he has planned to do for a long time,” Williams said.
According to Stoney’s website, he was raised by his grandmother and his father, who was a custodian. He went to public schools, where he qualified for free and reduced price lunches. He was the first person in his family to earn a high-school diploma and he went on to graduate from James Madison University.
After college, Stoney worked as a fellow in the office of then-Gov. Mark Warner.
He also served as executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia and as Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s deputy campaign manager in 2013.
Under Gov. McAuliffe, he became the first African-American Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia, where he helped restore civil and voting rights to more than 18,000 disenfranchised residents.
Back in the Historic Triangle, he is a source of pride to some of those who guided him as a young man.
“How cool is that?” Carter said. “He won.”
This story is based on unofficial results and will be updated as the results are made official.