Princess Blanding, a Richmond activist whose brother was fatally shot by a city police officer in 2018, will be on the ballot this November as a third-party candidate for governor.
Virginia election officials confirmed that Blanding qualified for the ballot by submitting the required paperwork and signatures. She will face Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the former governor, and Republican Glenn Youngkin, a former private equity executive.
Blanding became a prominent figure during the protests over police brutality in Richmond last summer, when the death of her brother attracted renewed attention.
Blanding’s brother, Marcus-David Peters, was killed after charging at a Richmond police officer during a mental breakdown in May 2018. Peters had been approached by the officer after walking into oncoming traffic at a ramp for Interstate 94/64. He was unarmed and undressed.
Reviews by two Richmond commonwealth’s attorneys deemed the shooting justified. Blanding says her brother was killed unjustly by police and has advocated for laws to improve emergency response services during mental health crises.
Blanding has said the legislature’s efforts on the issue have been insufficient, despite her advocacy.
Blanding, running as a member of the Liberation Party, said criminal justice, education and the environment are her top priorities. Blanding, a teacher, lives in Middlesex and is a mother of three.
“My decision to run for governor was based on the continued failure of the two-party system,” she said in an interview.
“I am the better candidate over both the GOP and Democratic candidates. I am part of the people who are oppressed, not a politician. I’m an impacted Virginian. What better person to represent you?”