Friday, December 20, 2013

Independents are the majority on Roanoke City Council now

Council_webAs of yesterday’s deadline to file as a Democrat running in the March 4 primary Roanoke City Council ceased to have a majority of Democrats on the dais.

Council members Ray Ferris and Bill Bestpitch announced that they will be running in the May 6 election as Independents. The tally of Democrats represented on Roanoke City Council was reduced to five. Ferris and Bestpitch essentially resigned from the Democratic Party.

However, both the Democratic Mayor David Bowers and Democrat David Trinkle jumped off the Democratic ship with Ferris and Bestpitch. They have thrown their support behind both Independent incumbent councilmen. That leaves only three Democrats on Roanoke City Council – Sherman Lea, Anita Price and Vice Mayor Court Rosen. That is unless they too purge themselves of the Democratic label.

The Roanoke City Democratic Committee bylaws are clear.

REVOCATION OF MEMBERSHIP – No Democratic committee member or officer of any Democratic committee shall publically support, endorse, or assist any candidate opposed to a Democratic nominee.

Dave Trinkle and David Bowers are no longer members of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee as they have publicly stated their support for Ray Ferris and Bill Bestpitch in emails and in print.

Bill Bestpitch and Ray Ferris found it convenient to call themselves Democrats when they first ran in the 2010 Democratic Primary. No one heard them complaining about it being expensive or inconvenient then to garner Democratic support in a very Democratic city.

They are too good for the Democratic Party now and they don’t need the label or the inconvenience of paying the filing fee. Voters should take note of all four. Did they do a good job while on city council. Maybe yes and maybe no but they are for sure opportunists and have baggage to boot.

As far as the now default Democrats on the ticket, Freeda Cathcart and former council member Linda Wyatt – neither of them should get too comfy with falling into the May 6 election.

However, both are on the RCDC and should insist that all four be thrown off the Democratic committee. In that case Dave Trinkle is NOT – I repeat NOT a Democratic nominee in the race. The Democratic ticket lacks one candidate.

If there ever was a time for a Republican to gain a seat on city council it is now.

Ferris and Bestpitch to run as Independents – Linda Wyatt, Freeda Cathcart as Democrats

Mayor Bowers supports Independents – Councilman Lea stunned

No Democratic primary for Roanoke council

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2014, Elections, Politics, Roanoke City Politics

Tags: , , , ,

Comments (2)

Terry Huxhold

December 20th, 2013 at 11:43 PM    


A Democrat only by convenience is not a Democrat. If the incumbents feel they have to leave the party to retain their seats because of the two new challengers, then they must be weak candidates to begin with. Both Davids are in misconduct with their parties by-laws and should also be removed from the party too. None of the four should ever be allowed back into the party either. This is gerrymandering to the scale as the house did to the house districts and should not go unpunished by the voters.

JoAnn Edmunds

December 22nd, 2013 at 4:27 AM    


As Chairperson of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee, I would like to point out that there are numerous inaccuracies in this article. The author is displaying a complete lack of understanding of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee and its bylaws. The author has absolutely no authority to declare who is a member of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee or who is the Democratic nominee in any race.

Comments are not moderated. Notify any abuse at info@roanokefreepress.com put ABUSE in the subject and the offensive post.

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