Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
He supports Roanoke County's current trajectory; his opponents want to usher in changes.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
With only 11 more days left before Hollins District voters elect their next representative to the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors, the political establishment has something to say.
Huddled against a chilly wind at Walrond Park on Thursday, retiring supervisor Richard Flora, a Republican, and former supervisor Bob Johnson, a Democrat, revealed a list showcasing 25 names and bipartisan support for independent Gary Jarrell .
Jarrell is currently locked in a three-way race in Hollins, up against Republican Al Bedrosian and Democrat Brian Lang . The announcement, in many ways, was an effort to realign and re-energize a campaign that had become overshadowed in the wake of two recent candidate forums.
While Jarrell has garnered the support of several professional groups, including the Business Leadership Fund, his campaign’s message has been one supporting the county’s status quo. Meanwhile, his opponents have offered sweeping changes to the role of government — Bedrosian looking to cut the tax rate and spending, and Lang pushing for major additional spending in a new Hollins Library and farmers market.
“Bob and I have been talking for several months, and this campaign is so important that we’ve decided to join forces,” Flora said. “The issues around this campaign and Roanoke County really depend a lot on this election.”
“Never in my adult life have I seen Roanoke County, the state of Virginia, and the nation, lacking good leadership,” Johnson said. “The extreme seems to have a foothold.”
They listed in among their ranks other longtime leaders, including supervisors Charlotte Moore and Mike Altizer, and Vinton Mayor Brad Grose . Roanoke County School Board member Jerry Canada was there, too. So was Pete Haislip , a retired longtime member of county staff. All said they think Jarrell would govern from the middle.
“The only person on the ballot that fits is standing right here,” Flora said to a crowd of about 20 people. “This is as bipartisan as it gets.”
Jarrell used the opportunity to reassert his belief that keeping the county on a steady path forward will be the wisest option, and as a road map, he plans to use the already approved Roanoke County comprehensive plan.
“One person can’t say, ‘I’m going to build a new library,’ ” he said. “It doesn’t work that way.”
He added: “And I don’t want to lose services, that’s why I live in Roanoke County, because I enjoy the services.”
Bedrosian reacted with little surprise at the announcement.
“I think that’s why Jarrell is an independent,” Bedrosian said. “I think he gets the liberal Republicans and some of the more moderate Democrats. I think he’s part of the establishment, the same ol’ establishment guy. If that’s what people want then that’s who they should go for.”
“I guess if Ken Cuccinelli supports Jarrell then I’m in trouble,” he said, chuckling.
Lang was also low-key, saying it’s normal in elections for people to voice support despite their party affiliation.
“Local elections often transcend party lines,” he said. “But I have quite a few Republicans and independents supporting me as well.”
Weather JournalMany very icy despite 'bust' claims