Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mayor Bowers receives another $25K – Bowers/Lucas will debate

Mark Lucas and Mayor David Bowers

A one-on-one debate between Democratic incumbent Mayor David Bowers and the Republican challenger businessman Mark Lucas will give voters the contrast they need to either “keep a good thing” or “change the role of mayor.”

The debate is Tuesday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. with light refreshments at 6:30 p.m. WSLS anchor Jay Warren will moderate the debate at the Claude Moore Education Complex on Henry Street across from the Dumas Center. The Roanoke Branch of the NAACP is hosting the debate.

Bowers fundraising for the period ending March 31 is over $40,000 according to Joan Washburn, Bowers’ campaign manager. This is in no small part due to a second donation of $25,000 by Peter Via a strong conservative Republican. Via’s contributions to Bowers totals a hefty $50,000.

According to Washburn “Via is very happy with David as mayor because of his love for the city of Roanoke and he is not using it as a stepping stone to higher office.”

Since the first of the year that includes the February primary race with Sam Rasoul Bowers has raised over $70,000 excluding loans to himself. Exact numbers will be reported on April 16 but Washburn said Bowers has over 140 individual contributors. Another fundraising event was held Wednesday night at the O. Winston Link Museum.

Bowers will use mailers, literature drops, radio and cable TV to make his case why the voters should keep the self-proclaimed blue collar mayor for another four-year term.

According to Chris Walters, Mark Lucas’ campaign manager Lucas has 120 individual contributors and will have raised over $50,000. The Virginia State Board of Elections shows one large contribution of $15,000 from the Business Leadership Fund PAC. Walters said Lucas has radio spots and is campaigning door to door.

The forum that was held on March 8 included the three council members and Independent candidate Brian Bushnell. That gave little time for questions between the two mayoral candidates.

Mark Lucas avoided the “ribbon cutting mayor” label and instead talked about being a tool in the city managers arsenal for promoting Roanoke as an entrepreneurial city. Lucas was careful and avoided depicting Bowers’ mayoral style. Instead he mostly affirmed his opponent’s views but thought he could do better when it comes to jobs and growing businesses. Lucas and his wife Wendy own Lucas Therapies and he has started and sold multiple businesses. Lucas proposed an entrepreneurial day in the mayor’s office on every first and third Thursday.

Lucas is mostly campaigning in South and Southwest Roanoke. The Lee-Hi precinct is a bedrock of voter participation. A solid Lee-Hi and South Roanoke precinct win could put Bowers in jeopardy with low turnout in other precincts.

Lucas has taken the offensive with a statement in his robo calls. Besides explaining how he would promote businesses and jobs in the valley he offered a contrast to the current officeholder and concludes the call with “”if you want a mayor who can do more than cut ribbons” elect Mark Lucas.

Virginia State Senator John Edwards through his support behind Bowers and Congressman Bob Goodlatte endorsed Mark Lucas.

Republican mayoral candidate sees opening for proactive leadership

Mayor Bowers will seek another term “in the catbird seat”

Who is right about how local government bodies function?


Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2012, Elections, Politics, Roanoke City Politics


Comments (4)

Adam Boitnott

April 11th, 2012 at 2:40 PM    

Washburn’s comment is pretty funny when she says Bowers is not using the office as a stepping stone. I guess 1998 has slipped her mind when he attempted to run against Goodlatte who got 69% of the vote.

Mark is an entrepreneur not a 20+ year politician, he has no aspirations to higher office only a love of Roanoke and providing jobs for its people.

Terry Huxhold

April 11th, 2012 at 10:43 PM    

Roanoke needs a more proactive mayor. I like David Bowers as a person, he is very likable, but we need someone to be a leader in attracting and developing more business to the city. To do this we need a mayor that will be active in getting the blight that is in the southeast and northwest parts of the city cleaned up.

I’m attending the Roanoke Leadership College and I’m learning alot about how the city operates. One of the other members of the class told us about Hersey coming to Stewards Draft, VA. When Hersey was looking for a location of their new plant, they looked hard at how the residents of the towns and cities the were looking at took care of their properties. They needed to maintain a high degree of cleanliness in this plant. Hersey’s logic was that if residents were mot keeping their homes maintained, they would not keep the plant as clean as it needs to be. Roanoke was one of the locations being looked at, we lost out to Stewards Draft.

Jack Mcguire

April 12th, 2012 at 4:52 PM    

I dont think they should debate in a debate sponsored by a racist organization. Will the KKK be sponsoring the next debate?

Jack Mcguire

April 12th, 2012 at 4:54 PM    

But Im sure they are both master debaters…..

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