Mayor David Bowers
Mayor David Bowers’ support of the Independents has Democratic Councilman Sherman Lea scratching his head over the mayor’s remarks.
This evening Bowers adds more confusion to today’s announcement that two incumbent Democratic council members are leaving the Democratic Party. Ray Ferris and Bill Bestpitch both decided to run for reelection as Independents in May.
Bowers said: “I intend to publicly support the 3 incumbents, Dave Trinkle, Bill Bestpitch and Ray Ferris, be they independent Democrats or Democrats designated by primary, for re-election in the May 2014 election. Together, these 3 incumbents, along with the other sitting Council members, have provided good, solid, progressive government for our 6-time All America city. Roanoke is on the right track and these 3 incumbents are deserving of re-election.”
Councilman Sherman Lea said “I am stunned.” As a Democrat, Lea said he was confused.
“As a Democratic elected official are we not obligated to support other Democrats running for elected office,” he asked.
If something has changed in the Democratic bylaws Lea said he hadn’t received the memo.
In the 2006 election then Mayor Nelson Harris and Vice-Mayor Bev Fitzpatrick were ousted from the Roanoke City Democratic Committee for supporting the Independent “For the City” ticket of Dave Trinkle, Gwen Mason and Alfred Dowe, Jr. Bowers was in full support of the move to oust them for supporting other than the Democratic ticket. Of course at the time Bowers was on that Democratic ticket that lost the election. He was running with Bill White, Sr. and former Senator Granger MacFarlane.
Not until the following Democratic reorganization were they allowed back into the Roanoke Democratic City Committee. Bowers himself ran as an Independent in 2008 against Nelson Harris and won. He was also welcomed back into the Democratic fold.
Is it time to do away with party affiliations in Roanoke municipal elections?
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Election 2014, Elections, Politics, Roanoke City Politics
Tags: city_council, democrat, Election 2014, Elections, Mayor_Bowers