Botetourt County residents head to the polls Tuesday to determine the Republican nominations in three races: sheriff, commissioner of the revenue and the Blue Ridge District seat of the county’s board of supervisors.
Residents can vote at their regular polling places, which will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Polling places can be found at elections.virginia.gov/poll.
Four Republican nominations already have been decided for lack of an opponent. All are incumbents. John Alexander received the nomination for commonwealth’s attorney, William Arney received the nomination for treasurer, Mac Scothorn received the nomination for Valley District representative on the board of supervisors, and Richard Bailey received the nomination for Fincastle District representative on the board of supervisors.
Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle announced he would not seek reelection for a sixth term and would instead retire after 35 years in law enforcement. He was first elected as sheriff in 1999.
Mike Vineyard, a retired Roanoke police officer, announced his candidacy for sheriff in November 2017 on Facebook. He worked for the Roanoke Police Department for 25 years before he retired in 2011. Since then, he has worked on investigations for the state.
Vineyard said he wants to better control traffic on Interstate 81, station dedicated sergeants in each town, and start a program where teachers wear fobs around their neck that connect to the 911 center in case of emergency.
Jeff Stritesky, a lieutenant with the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office, announced his run for sheriff in January. Stritesky has worked in law enforcement for 34 years, 23 of those with the Botetourt sheriff’s office. He was also the school resource officer for Lord Botetourt High School for 12 years.
Stritesky said he wants to bring more transparency to the sheriff’s office, station deputies in every school, and create more drug take back and substance abuse programs.
Matt Ward, a master deputy with the sheriff’s office, also will be seeking the Republican nomination Tuesday. Ward has worked in the sheriff’s office for 22 years and was raised in Botetourt County.
Ward said he hopes to increase community engagement and lower the effect of the opioid epidemic by utilizing local, state and federal resources. He also wants to start an inmate work crew program and put an officer in every school.
The candidate who receives the Republican nomination will face two independent candidates, William Stowell and Danny Crouse, in November.
Board of Supervisors
Billy Martin, who currently represents the Blue Ridge District on the board of supervisors and serves as its chairman, is seeking reelection for a fourth term.
Martin worked as the postmaster for Roanoke and retired after 37 years with the post office. Martin said that as supervisor, he wants to continue economic development and bring more business to Botetourt County.
Walter Michael, a Botetourt resident, also filed to run for the seat as a Republican. Michael retired from Norfolk Southern Railway after working for Conrail.
Michael has a master’s degree in business administration and said he wants to transform the board and county with fiscal responsibility, something he said is currently lacking. Michael created a citizen watchdog group called “Botetourt Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility” that meets monthly to discuss county issues and spending. He also writes a weekly newsletter about those topics that he said he would continue if elected to the position.
Commissioner of the Revenue
Rodney Spickard, the county’s commissioner of the revenue, announced in February he would not seek reelection after serving seven years in the position.
The commissioner of the revenue maintains the real estate assessment tax record, issues business licenses and collects meal, occupancy and lodging taxes, along with other duties.
Chris Booth and Michael Griffin both filed to run for the Republican nomination.
Booth, the Botetourt manager for MKB Realtors, lives in Daleville and grew up in Botetourt County. He is also the Republican committee secretary and has been involved with several campaigns in the county.
Griffin owns JMG Homes LLC and is an operator of the Brookfield and Sommersby Water Cos., where he works in accounts payable and receivable, budgeting and tax matters.
Both Booth and Griffin cited experience maintaining budgets in their jobs and emphasized the service aspect of the commissioner position, which is to listen and work with citizens on personal tax matters.