James A. “Jimmy” Gray Jr.

Key Facts

Party N/A; nonpartisan election
Status Incumbent


James Gray graduated from Tidewater Community College with an A.A.S. Degree [1, 8]. He went on to attend Hampton University and graduated with a bachelor’s in Fire Administration. Gray also attended Troy University, earning a master’s in Public Administration [1, 6, 8]. Gray is a graduate of Cornell University’s EEO Studies Program and has attended leadership programs at the National Fire Academy, University of Virginia, LEAD Hampton Roads, and Civic Leadership Institute [1].

Gray served as the City of Hampton’s Fire Chief from 2004 to 2010. He served as an Hampton Assistant City Manager from 2010 to 2014, then retired for two years [1, 6, 8]. 

Gray serves on the Hampton Roads Committee of 200+ Men, Inc.; Greater Peninsula Workforce Development Consortium; Hampton Roads Planning District Commission; Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization; Hampton Roads Regional Jail Authority; Y.H. Thomas Community Center Board; Hampton Education Foundation; Hampton Library Foundation; NAACP; Virginia Board for Workforce Development; Virginia Municipal League, Transportation Committee; Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads; Hampton 2019 Commemorative Commission; Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity; and Peninsula Council for Workforce Development [1, 8].

Key Issues


Gray wants to reduce flooding. He has supported investments for projects that will reduce flooding resulting from sea level rise and extreme weather [1].


Gray wants Hampton to have a sense of community like it did when Codi Bigsby went missing and the citizens all worked together [5].

Gray also wants input from constituents. While in office, he met with senior citizen groups, neighborhood associations, neighborhood watch groups, and nonprofits [1].


Gray supports funding for Hampton City Schools. Gray sponsored Karen Parker’s sixth grade language arts class at Eaton Fundamental Middle School for PTSA membership and paid each student’s membership fee [3].


Gray wants to reduce real estate taxes and provide personal property tax relief, and he has already worked towards these things [1].


Gray wants to improve Hampton amenities and facilities. He has advocated for funding the Buckroe Beach boardwalk, War Memorial Stadium, Wythe fire station, maintaining historic African American cemeteries, and removing the police firing range out of the Old North Hampton neighborhood [1].


Gray wants to reduce poverty and crime. He has worked towards this by advocating for new staffing, partnerships with nonprofits, and expanded summer job opportunities for youth and job training programs [1].


Michael Monteith, CEO Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia; Jack Ezzell, CEO Zel Technologies


1 Jimmy Gray for Hampton City Council
2 Facebook
3 Hampton City Schools
4 Ballotpedia
5 13 News Now
6 Linkedin
8 Hampton Government