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Mayor-For-One-More-Week Picks A Successor

Mayor-For-One-More-Week Picks A Successor


Well, I promised to keep you updated on political intrigue here in Virginia Beach. And we have some.

The queue to replace the mayor who abruptly resigned last week is growing.

And it seems Will Sessoms has picked his successor: Former Councilman Linwood Branch.

Yep, the man my former colleague, columnist Dave Addis, once described as a “goat boy" for the developers.

Great line.

In fact, I keep a commemorative SNL Goat Boy action figure on my desk in honor of it. 

Let’s back up. Last week, on the morning the mayor abruptly and without a coherent explanation quit his job, he first held a private meeting with nearly a dozen of his best buddies.

Among them was former City Manager Jim Spore. Young-but-very-ambitious City Councilman Ben Davenport, who is believed to have designs on the mayor’s chair. And Branch. 

For those who weren’t around about 20 years ago, Branch, former Councilman Billy Harrison and Sessoms were once nicknamed City Council’s “Three Amigos”.

Let’s just say they were very developer friendly.

Clearly the city’s power brokers don’t want to risk having a mayor who might derail that gravy train. Someone like grassroots Councilman Bobby Dyer, who announced that he was running the day after Sessoms announced he was quitting.

The politics of all this seem chaotic. I mean, the mayor claims to have vague “opportunities” in the private sector, but he’s breathlessly jumping ship even before City Council votes on the budget next month.  

The question on everyone's mind: What’s the hurry? 

Of course, a bigger question will be answered in November: Do the voters want more of the same?







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