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Republicans in Roanoke council race promise support for business, police, in-person instruction

Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 5:49 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Democrats hold all the seats on Roanoke City Council, but Maynard Keller and Peg McGuire hope to change that.

The Republican nominees are running together, stressing a need for new leadership on a number of issues.

“I not only know the professional side of finance, I also know the people side of things,” Keller told WDBJ7 during a recent interview. “And I will not only hear, but I will listen.”

A certified financial planner, Keller said the city can do better on issues such as improving public safety.

“We need to be tough on crime. We need to fill those 30 police vacancies right now. We need to compensate our police officers better. We need to offer better training,” he said.

“The message is resonating,” said McGuire, his colleague on the Republican ticket. “People are excited that we’re running, and that there is a diversity of ideas, you know, coming forth for city council.”

McGuire is a public relations and marketing specialist who worked on the campaign to restore the 611 steam locomotive. Among her priorities: an elected school board and a ward system for city council. She supports a return to in-person instruction five days a week in Roanoke City Public schools. And like Keller, she believes Roanoke can do more to help small businesses recover from COVID-19.

“We need to remove any barriers we can locally to help these businesses come back and thrive,” McGuire said. “Restaurants are shutting down left and right. Small businesses are really hurting, especially our retail shops. We really need to help our businesses recover and one way to do that is to get out of the way.”

We profiled the Democratic candidates Wednesday. And we have one more look at the Roanoke City Council race Friday, with the three candidates who are running as Independents.

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