Former Del. Joe Morrissey, who famously served a portion of his last session in the General Assembly while on work release from jail, has begun canvassing for support in Richmond as he mulls a second run for Senate against Rosalyn Dance, D-Petersburg.
“It would be a true statement that I’ve been to almost every house in Fulton and am working my way south down to Hopewell,” said Morrissey, a former Democrat whose last runs for office were as an independent.
News of Morrissey’s bid surfaced online Monday when a Richmond resident posted photos of a campaign flyer left on his door.
During a brief phone interview, Morrissey at first declined to comment, but when asked whether the flyer circulating online was genuine, he acknowledged he was “exploring the possibility.”
Despite the legal and personal drama that seems to follow him, he maintains a loyal base of support and was considered a front runner in a 2016 run for mayor of Richmond, though he ultimately came in third in a field of eight.
Morrissey challenged Dance as an independent in 2015 before dropping out of the race, a move he blamed on health problems.
Morrissey was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in 2014, a charge that stemmed from a relationship with his then 17-year-old legal secretary, who he has since married and lives with in North Richmond.
Morrissey resigned his seat in the House of Delegates after the conviction only to announce he would run in the special election to fill it while serving out a six-month jail sentence. He was able to campaign and then serve in the General Assembly because a judge granted him work release.
Last year, the Virginia State Bar revoked his license to practice law.
He currently hosts a talk radio show.