by Brandon Jarvis

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has dropped out of the 2025 governor’s race and will instead seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

He confirmed it Tuesday morning with a statement.

“I believe that the best way to ensure that all Virginia families do get the change they deserve is for our party to come together, avoid a costly and damaging primary and, for me to run instead for Lieutenant Governor,” Stoney said in a written statement.

He was running against Rep. Abigail Spanbeger, D-VA07, who is raising a boatload of money and has earned endorsements from elected officials across the commonwealth.

She raised $3.6 million at the filing deadline of Dec. 31 and reported $3 million in cash on hand. Stoney raised $758,000 and had $688,000 in cash on hand.

Spanberger recently gained the support of Clean Virginia, one of the most prominent Democratic donors in Virginia. They pledged $250,000 to her campaign already and would have likely given more for a primary campaign.

“This was not an easy decision – especially given that my campaign has received a lot of support from all corners of the Commonwealth and I am so appreciative of that support. And while there was a path to victory it was a narrow path and, after consideration, I firmly believe that running for LG is the right move for me and my family, the right move for the Democratic Party, the right move for the future of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Stoney continued.

The field for lieutenant governor will likely be large, with state Sen. Aaron Rouse, D-Va Beach, and state Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, D-Chesterfield, expected to run.

Prince William School Board member Babur Lateef has already announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor and has been endorsed by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

McAuliffe was backing Stoney’s gubernatorial campaign.

Stoney did not announce any endorsements for his lieutenant governor run, and it is not clear at this time who will support his bid.

He was making calls Monday asking for support for this new campaign, according to several Democratic sources.

“As LG, I believe I can be an effective advocate for Virginia families to ensure that everyone in our state does in fact get that fair shot at success,” Stoney said. “Given everything at stake in the next Governor’s race – from reproductive rights to education funding and tax fairness – I believe this is a time when Democrats must stand united and avoid an ugly primary for Governor.”

By vascope