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Candidates for Roanoke Mayor meet in Kiwanis forum

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 7:20 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Despite the national focus during this campaign season, we shouldn’t forget there are local races as well.

Wednesday, Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea and his challenger on the ballot, former Mayor David Bowers, met during a candidates forum in the Star City.

“Roanoke responds, Roanoke recovers. And Roanoke is resilient,” Lea told the audience. “Why change mid-course?”

Lea said he offers tested, proven leadership during challenging times.

Bowers said he would return to City Hall with fresh ideas and new energy.

“I want to bring Roanoke in a new direction,” Bowers said. “And I would ask the people of Roanoke to elect a new mayor who would be a leader for the city, so the city would be a leader for the region.”

The Roanoke Kiwanis Club brought the candidates together in Charter Hall, for a forum that included an in-person audience, and even more observers online.

It was a polite exchange, but the issues that highlighted their differences included plans for a new bus station downtown.

“It is imperative that we get the bus station here, because people need it,” Lea said. "And we’re going to design a bus station ... for Roanoke, not Washington DC, not New York, but for Roanoke.

“Someone needs to stand up and say the current project is ill-conceived, poorly planned and badly implemented,” Bowers responded.

This was the second of three forums with Lea and Bowers

The candidates for Roanoke City Council will meet Thursday afternoon in a virtual event organized by the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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