This should be interesting.
The article in today's Daily Mail expands on a brief mention in the weekend paper that Mayor Jones has publicly endorsed Andy Richardson for County Commissioner. This might seem surprising to some, since Dave Hardy is such a well respected and popular commissioner. Why would Mayor Jones take a chance on aligning himself with a losing candidate? Especially one from another party?
The following facts make it not terribly surprising:
First, and most importantly, Jones and Hardy had an open feud not too long ago. Anyone who knows the mayor knows that if you openly disagree with him that he will vehemently strike back. Ask any of the current or former City Council members who have ever stood in opposition to anything Danny wanted. Jones' vehemence can be heard in his statement to the Daily Mail:
"I don't think it's even close." Jones said, comparing Richardson to Hardy; "He's a seasoned person who has actually done something." The implication, of course, is that Hardy has done nothing.
Secondly, don't discount that Andy Richardson was part of the Underwood family (formerly married to Cecil's daughter) and even though he was a member of the Caperton cabinet, he is still a beneficiary of at least some of the Republican political machinery that remains. Since Jones is arguably the leading Republican in the state he might be somewhat obliged to support Richardson.
That said, Andy Richardson is certainly not unqualified for the position. He worked in the public sector for many years and served on South Charleston's City Council. While Dave Hardy has made the upper Kanawha Valley his focus, Richardson is a lower KV guy with his roots in Charleston and South Charleston. Both are seemingly well respected in the lawyer community and should have the ability to raise some major bucks.
I don't care who wins, I just hope the race is close so we can see more of Danny's meddling on display.