Richmond City Council Has Unexpected Vacancy

The City of Richmond is debating how to fill a seat on its Council that is unexpectedly vacant.  Gary Bell, the man who won that seat in November, fell seriously ill before he could take office.

Oil giant Chevron spent more than a million dollars backing candidates for Richmond's City Council last year, including Bell.   Now there's a debate between pro-business and pro-enviroment factions in the city over who should replace Bell.

Lloyd Madden, president of the Black American Political Action Committee, wants the council to appoint someone like Bell, in his words "an African American that is pro-business".

But Marilyn Langlois with the Richmond Progressive Alliance says Eduardo Martinez, who just missed getting elected in November, should get the seat.  "Eduardo is completely independent of Chevron and really any other big money financial interests," she says.

The council has 60 days to appoint someone or call a special election.

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