Joe Morrissey says he’s done with politics: ‘I’m moving on’


RICHMOND, Va. — After more than 30 years in Virginia politics, Joe Morrissey says he’s done.

The state senator lost his Democratic primary election Tuesday to former state lawmaker Lashrecse Aird.

“I’m moving on to the next chapter in my life, I want to be a full-time parent and coach all my kids in a myriad of sports and I’m really looking forward to it,” Morrissey said. a telephone interview with Jake Burns. “Like I tell them all the time, you always fight to the end. You never quit. You never give up. But in the end, you know, it’s always in God’s hands. And then I feel like that.”

Burns again asked if Morrissey ever planned to run for political office.

“Somewhere along the way, you know, I’ll continue to serve in some way, maybe at my church, or, you know, some local entity,” he said. “I can not see [running for office] never happen again You have to know when to expect the next chapter. And I say that with 100% certainty being a full-time parent and coach to my kids…this is going to become a full-time job for me.”

A controversial figure in Richmond and beyond, Morrissey has served as Richmond’s Commonwealth’s Attorney in the 1990s and later in the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia State Senate. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Richmond in 2016.

In early 2022, outgoing Virginia Governor Ralph Northam pardoned Morrissey, who was jailed after a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old receptionist who later became his (now ex) wife .

The pardon was another rung on the ladder of redemption for Morrissey, a twice-disbarred scandal-plagued politician who goes by the name “Fighting Joe”. “

The pardon stemmed from a scandal that began when Morrissey was in the House of Delegates nearly eight years ago.

He resigned his seat after being convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, his receptionist at his law firm.

Morrissey won re-election as an independent in a special election a month later.

For the next two months, he spent his days working at the General Assembly. But he served his nights in jail as part of a work release sentence for the conviction, for which he is now pardoned.

In March 2015, Morrissey resigned his House seat to run for the Virginia State Senate, but was unable to qualify for the Democratic primary ballot.

In 2016, he was the front-runner in the Richmond mayoral race until a legal client accused him of making unwanted sexual advances and sending her lewd text messages.

“What we saw in this [2023] The race, especially in the last few days, is Joe Morrissey trying to appeal to Republicans to come vote for him, especially in the southern part of the district and Dinwiddie and Prince George,” said CBS 6 political analyst, the Dr. Bob Holsworth.

Holsworth said Morrissey probably wouldn’t have made it if he had tried to run for the seat in November as a Republican or independent candidate.

Virginia election results breakdown

“I think it’s too late for that to actually happen,” he said. “These districts are such that the district that Morrissey is in is a Democratic district, you will not be able to run even if you can, as an independent or a Republican and win in that district.”

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to submit a tip.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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