The field appears to be growing in the race for Richmond Mayor. Nine people have confirmed participation in a mayoral forum held by VCU and Virginia Union in April.
The participants include several who have confirmed they will run (Michelle Mosby, Rick Tatnall, Chad Ingold and Lillie Estes), as well as several who have been rumored (Jon Baliles, Jack Berry, Jeff Bourne, Chris Hilbert and Bruce Tyler). A few notable names rumored to be planning a run are not on the list yet (Joe Morrissey and Levar Stoney), but the university says it is still getting confirmations.
Here's the current list of participants:
When reached for comment, Jeff Bourne said he was not confirmed to attend and was unsure whether he would run for mayor.
"I am undecided about attending the forum because I have not yet decided whether to run for mayor," Bourne said in an email. "If I decide to run, then I would likely attend. However if I decide not to run then the relevance of the invitation and my attendance becomes moot."
We also asked Jack Berry if his participation meant he was announcing his candidacy for mayor. "Not yet," he responded.
Chris Hilbert tells NBC12 he hasn't "made a final decision," but is "looking forward to the forum.
City Registrar Kirk Showalter says no one has submitted any signatures yet for the race.
The forum is being put on by the Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs at VCU and Virginia Union University. Former governor Doug Wilder, who has made overtures about a mayoral run, will moderate the forum with Dr. Bob Holsworth on April 6 at 7 p.m. in Coburn Hall in the Allix B. James Chapel. There will be opportunities for brief questions from the audience, according to a press release sent on Monday.
The forum follows an event earlier at the Claude G. Perkins Living and Learning Center at Virginia Union examining the role race plays in the electoral process and upcoming elections at the federal, state, and local levels as part of the Wilder Symposia. The day’s first session, “Race & the 2016 National Elections”, will take place between 10 a.m. and noon, with "nationally recognized speakers from Virginia and throughout the country."