Roanokers elected the city’s second-ever black mayor in Democrat Sherman Lea on Tuesday, and made incumbent Democrat Anita Price the city’s first ever black woman vice-mayor.
Independents Michelle Dykstra and John Garland also won council seats, meaning that despite their victories, Democrats after July 1 will not hold a majority on council for the first time in 40 years or more.
The wild ride is almost over.
Voters go to the polls Tuesday to select a new Roanoke mayor and three city council members.
History will be made. There’s only a question of how much.
Roanoke will have its second black mayor ever, and perhaps three black members for the first time ever. Council could have a majority of independents. Or its first openly gay council member in E. Duane Howard.
Remember Grover Price?
His presence on the stage of Roanoke politics this year was fleeting, a few-weeks-long independent run for city council that ended with his choosing not to submit paperwork to get on the ballot.
Roanoke’s voter registrar is ordering reprinted ballots to address confusion about how city council candidate Trish White-Boyd’s name will appear on the ballots handed to voters May 3.
The cost is about $4,000 for 15,000 ballots, which must be printed and delivered by Friday, according to Registrar Andrew Cochran. White-Boyd, a Democrat, said her party’s committee chairman will ask the committee to pay part of the cost. Cochran said the state has no precedent for reprinting ballots.
Roanoke City Councilman Court Rosen pleaded guilty Monday in Roanoke General District Court to misdemeanor marijuana possession, then asked to enter into a first offender program.
Outside the courthouse Rosen, whose council term ends June 30, announced he will not seek re-election in May.
Independent candidate Brandon Bushnell faces an uphill battle as he challenges incumbent Democrats Sherman Lea, Anita Price and Court Rosen for a seat on Roanoke City Council this spring.
The race for the three council seats has received less attention than the campaign for mayor between Democratic incumbent David Bowers and Republican challenger Mark Lucas.