Blanding makes her voice heard in Virginia governor’s race

GLENNS, Va. (AP) — A Black activist and educator is making her presence known as a third-party candidate in Virginia governor’s race. Princess Blanding’s activism came to the forefront in 2018 after her brother was fatally shot by a Richmond police officer during a mental health crisis. She led protest marches and pushed for criminal charges against the officer, but prosecutors found that the shooting was justified. Blanding also worked on legislation to establish an alert system to dispatch mental health providers along with police to help stabilize people in crisis situations. She said the failures of the two-party system prompted her to start the new Liberation Party and run for governor.