UPDATED: 1:30 p.m. Sam Rasoul Press Release:
“During these economic times Roanoke cannot afford to be complacent”
After several years of focusing on his family, small business owner and CFO of Kissito Healthcare, Sam Rasoul, has decided to run for Mayor of Roanoke City. Raised in the Roanoke Valley, Rasoul would like to contribute more to an area that has blessed him with so much.
“We are putting the campaign together now and we will be making a formal announcement at the beginning of the year”. Rasoul’s campaign will center on several priorities including job creation through economic development, limiting wasteful spending, and education.
A small business owner, Rasoul believes more can be done to make Roanoke a formidable regional player to attract more jobs. With cuts looming in Richmond and Washington, Rasoul believe his financial background will help him work with other members of city council, and other local entities to maximize our resources to stimulate the region.
“Roanoke is a great city, the region has many resources, and we have many talented people who need jobs. During this economic time we cannot afford to be complacent.
Under my leadership we will create sustainable solutions that utilize our regional talents, forge partnerships with other cities and regions, and be fiscally responsible to make sure that every dollar spent creates a return on investment for the city.
As a business man and a job creator, I know what it takes and I intend to do just that as Mayor of Roanoke.”
In order for any region to thrive, the education system has proved to be a huge catalyst for attracting business. Rasoul says that education will be an unusually high focal point for a mayor. “I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to participate in our education system. Our students are competing globally and our country has fallen way behind. Education is the only equalizer – so it is important that we maximize every tax dollar spent on education, to build the capacity to ensure that every single child comes to school ready to learn, and receives a high quality education.”
Believing in grass-roots campaigning, Rasoul will spend much of his time not talking, but listening to the citizens of Roanoke and learning more about their thoughts on improving our city.
Rasoul will be seeking the Democratic nomination in February for the general election this May.
UPDATED: 11:00 a.m. Sherman Lea in a phone call this morning commented on Rasoul’s candidacy saying that he was surprised by Rasoul’s announcement but “being in politics as long as I have – I wouldn’t underestimate his ability to get people out to vote. That is what [firehouse] primaries are – get people out to vote.” (He said the firehouse primary would be held February 11 at William Fleming High School).
Lea thinks that the Mayor needs to be vigilante – “[Rasoul] has shown through the last election that he beat Bob Goodlatte in the city. I’m surprised by it but I hope that nobody would underestimate him. That’s the thing about politics – you can’t underestimate your opponent.”
Lea again reiterated that he is not running for Mayor and will seek another term for city council. His retirement from Regional Director for the Department of Corrections has had no bearing on changing that decision.
8:45 a.m. Sam Rasoul, 30 is Chief Financial officer for the nonprofit Kissito Healthcare, an elder care facility. Rasoul said that CEO Tom Clarke is “supportive of what he is doing … it is in his soul to help as many people as possible” and sees it as a natural alliance between Kissito’s mission and Rasoul’s.
He plans to file paperwork today.
He formerly ran for the 6th congressional district in 2008 as a Democrat garnering about 35% of the vote.
“The number one issue for me is jobs,” he said.
Protecting every tax dollar and protecting education will be his other top priorities.
Rasoul added that “he intends to spend a lot of time listening to people.” With his financial backgound he said that he “will make sure that we take care of every tax dollar we can here locally.”
Having two young daughters himself he feels strongly that “as a nation and a city continued focus on primary and secondary education” is essential and “it is obvious if you look at the statistics where we rank with other developed nations – reading, math and science specifically frankly it is unacceptable.”
When asked why he is seeking to run for Mayor rather than a council spot Rasoul said, “with the austerity measures that are coming with Richmond and Washington, D.C. people are looking for a certain degree of leadership that is going to progress Roanoke forward … this is the position to do it.”
See previous post:
Sam Rasoul for Roanoke City Mayor?
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Election 2012, Elections, Politics, Roanoke City Politics
Tags: Council_elections, democrat, Election 2012, Elections, Mayor_Bowers