Price chosen to replace Jeffrey on Roanoke City Council

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 2:12 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Roanoke City Council has decided on Democrat Anita Price to fill the council seat vacated when Democrat Robert Jeffrey, Jr. pleaded no contest to one charge of embezzlement.

Price was chosen at a meeting Monday, April 18, from a final list of candidates including Price, Suzanna Osborne, Kiesha Preston, Luke Priddy, Kevin Berry and Raekwon Moore. That list was selected from an initial list of 16 people.

Price, a former councilwoman who didn’t run for re-election in 2020 after serving 12 years, will serve until the end of 2022. There will be a special election in November to fill the seat for the remainder of Jeffrey’s term, which ends in December 2024; Price does not plan to run in that election, according to the council.

“It’s unfortunate the circumstances that this position became available, but I do feel that it was my civic duty to come forth,” she explains.

After being sworn in by Circuit Court Judge Onzlee Ware, Price thanked residents of the city who encouraged her to go back and serve the city, and thanked the council for its vote of confidence.

Regarding the pick, Councilwoman Moon Reynolds said this was among the most difficult decisions he’s had to make as a council member, and that it was not a decision to be taken lightly. He was in favor of a selection who, like Price, would not have sought the two-year term in November, saying, “I don’t think those who want to enter the November election should be allowed to use the 9-month appointment to gain political advantage over other candidates.”

While Price sees herself as a placeholder, she hopes the next nine months can be a time for the public to regrow trust in city officials.

“I think our city has been up-ended on the events that have transpired leading up to why this was necessary. I hope that by the end of this year, we can get back to that sense of trust in our city government. In the end, it’s up to all of us to work together. I do hope that by the end of this year, we can continue to move forward and make certain that we are doing the kinds of things that are in the best interest of our city.”

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