Incumbent Councilman Bill Bestpitch’s statement on his decision to run as an Independent along with colleague Ray Ferris. This maneuver allows them to avoid a primary challenge and if elected as Independents both Ray Ferris and Bill Bestpitch can jump right back into the Democratic City Committee. This is called “Democrats Dancing a Little Side-Step” (See video in sidebar).
I am deeply grateful to the more than 185 voters in the City of Roanoke who signed one of the petitions to place my name on the ballot for the Democratic primary election on March 4. You may have heard that Councilman Ray Ferris decided not to run in the primary. I also have decided not to file.
For the last four years, I have had the honor and privilege of serving on Roanoke City Council with people who always have the best interests of our city at heart. We do not always agree, but this council works exceedingly hard to reach consensus decisions that we all can support even if we don’t get exactly what we might prefer. We recognize the importance of collaboration, and we have great respect for one another.
Ray Ferris, Dave Trinkle, and I ran as a team in 2010, and we have worked hard since then to continue the progress of the Star City. I hope that the citizens of Roanoke will give all three of us the opportunity to continue serving them.
Ms. Wyatt and I have been good friends since 1998. We ran together for city council in 2000, we worked together for four years, and we lost together in 2004. I appreciate her service to our city, especially as a teacher in our elementary schools.
I have known Ms. Cathcart for many years, but we have not developed as close a relationship. I know that she has worked hard on behalf of Roanoke Valley residents, and I commend her for her efforts. However, I do not think that either Ms. Wyatt or Ms. Cathcart is more qualified or better suited to serve on city council at this time.
After much careful consideration, I have concluded that I cannot allow myself in good conscience to risk assuming a position where I would be expected to support candidates challenging the re-election of any of my colleagues. Therefore, I have made the very difficult decision to run for city council as an independent on May 6.