Roanoke City's commonwealth's attorney retains seat after 37 years in office

ROANOKE CITY, Va. (WDBJ7) - In the race for Roanoke City's Commonwealth's Attorney, the incumbent Don Caldwell has taken the win, retaining the seat he's held for the last 37 years.

Caldwell beat his opponent Democrat Melvin Hill with 54 percent of the vote. We met Hill downtown Tuesday night, who said he was proud of his campaign but obviously disappointed at the final results.

"When I noticed that I did not win or come very close in Raleigh Court, I thought that was the pivotal precinct because it's traditionally a Democratic precinct and I’m the Democratic candidate for Commonwealth's Attorney,” Hill said. “When I did not win Raleigh Court, I was concerned at that point."

Hill is a longtime attorney, former prosecutor and substitute judge. While campaigning he focused heavily on community prosecution.

Even without the win, Hill said he thinks community prosecution is right for the times and will eventually be implemented in the Roanoke Valley.

"I'm proud of the fact that everywhere I went and I emphasized drug treatment over incarceration for drug offenders, I got applause and agreement from whatever crowd I was in,” Hill said.

Commonwealth's Attorney Don Caldwell was previously a democrat, but in this race ran as an independent.

In an interview last month, Caldwell told WDBJ7 he thought his track record would speak for itself in the campaign. He will hold this position for another four years, which will eventually total four decades serving as the city's top prosecutor.

Tuesday night after his loss, When asked if another shot at the office in four years is in his future, Hill said it's too early to tell.
But Hill thanked his team and congratulated Caldwell on the win.

"And Mr. Caldwell I'd like to congratulate him on a well- won race."

We did reach out to Don Caldwell earlier this week to prepare to meet up with him Tuesday night for his reaction to the results.
He told me win or lose, he did not plan on putting out a statement that evening.