Besides being involved in Boy Scouts and tutoring at the Westend Center he has taught English as a second language said Senator John Edwards in his introduction of Brian Lang for Roanoke County Board of Supervisors in the Hollins District. Twenty supporters gathered at the Hollins Library with officials like Sheriff Michael Winston attending.
“He’s a very innovative person in many ways – he has three patents,” said Edwards. “By definition that means you are an innovative human being.”
Lang, 45 is a mechanical engineer at Yokohama Tire Corporation in Salem. He has lived in Roanoke County’s Hollins District for 21 years. He is in his third-term of serving as chair of the Roanoke County Democratic Committee.
He will focus on Roanoke County being “a wonderful place to live.” Lang said while people do leave the Roanoke Valley to find jobs they return as soon as an opportunity opens.
“We’ve got far more going right than we have going wrong. I look at it as an opportunity to build on the strengths that we already have,” said Lang earlier in a phone call.
Lang himself experienced a plant closing he said and struggled to stay in the Roanoke Valley eventually finding work at Yokohama Tire. “I haven’t forgotten what it was like to be searching for a job,” he said.
Sen. John Edwards introduces Brian Lang
His campaign will place a heavy emphasis on both recruiting employers to Roanoke County and taking care of employers already here he said. He hasn’t yet defined his plan for the expected $5 million cost for Storm Water Management in the county. That is sure to be a topic for all the candidates to address.
His platform is still evolving and Lang said he will have more to say about working with Roanoke’s Economic Development effort down the road. He is committed to keeping Roanoke County’s school system at its current top ranking.
Lang said he will address the shortage of athletic fields in the county. He wants to see dog parks similar to Salem and Roanoke City’s Highland Park facility. The cost is low he said and the county can look at using “private/public partnerships to sponsor the minimal costs of putting up fences.”
With Lang’s entrance into the race it creates a three-way contest between the Republican candidate Al Bedrosian and independent Gary Jarrell.
The Republican firehouse primary ended in a draw – both Al Bedrosian and Mike Bailey received 389 votes each on May 11. A drawing was held the following Tuesday and Al Bedrosian who is considered the tea party candidate won.
Independent Gary Jarrell is on the Roanoke County Planning Commission and has the endorsement of Hollins District board member Richard Flora who is stepping down from his BOS seat.
There are no Democratic candidates for the other contests in the Vinton district and Windsor district. Republican Jason Peters is unopposed in the Vinton district. In the Windsor district there will be a rematch between incumbent board member Ed Elswick who dropped the Republican Party label and Joe McNamara winner of the May 11 Republican Primary.
Lang said of his two opponents that they offer some parallels. “I think that those two gentleman are both very dedicated and obviously love living here too – it’s simply that we have different ideas about how to go about it.”
McNamara wins Windsor – drawing will decide Hollins Tuesday
The luck of the draw goes to Al Bedrosian