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Poll: Man jailed in sex case leads race for Richmond mayor

Richmond Mayoral candidate Joseph Morrissey
Richmond Mayoral candidate Joseph Morrissey (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A new poll shows a flamboyant former Virginia lawmaker who was jailed in a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old girl is the current front-runner in the crowded race for Richmond mayor.

The poll from Christopher Newport University says Joseph Morrissey has support from 28 percent of the city's voters.

Morrissey spent his days at the General Assembly last year and his nights in jail after he entered an Alford plea to a misdemeanor for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges there is sufficient evidence for a conviction but doesn't admit guilt.

The poll of 600 Richmond registered voters was conducted Aug. 18-24 by the Wason Center for Public Policy at CNU and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

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This story has been corrected to say Morrissey entered an Alford plea to the misdemeanor charge, not a guilty plea.