WDBJ7 Senior Reporter
5:35 PM EDT, April 19, 2012
Does Roanoke already have the right team in place? Or does it need new leadership and a fresh emphasis on creating jobs.
That's a choice voters will have to make in the race for Roanoke Mayor.
Roanoke's Democratic Mayor David Bowers is running for re-election. Republican businessman Mark Lucas is challenging him. So far, they've waged a polite campaign, but one the candidates say includes some pointed differences
Their latest meeting was a candidates' forum at the Hotel Roanoke Thursday afternoon, organized by the Roanoke Hospitality Association. Lucas argued for a stronger emphasis on job creation, while Bowers emphasized the leadership team that's now in place at city hall.
"Job creation is just critical, and my background is being an entrepreneur," Lucas said. "I want to see us create jobs really organically where we are creating entrepreneurial type companies here locally and growing them up from the base."
Bowers said: "As I go around the neighborhoods of Roanoke, people are wanting to know about creating jobs and again it takes a team. Creating jobs is not a one many job."
The campaign is now hitting the home stretch.
Voters will decide the Mayor's race, and choose among four candidates for three seats on city council, when they head to the polls on May 1.
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