By Brandon Jarvis

Roanoke (Scope) – David Bowers served a total of 16 years as Roanoke’s Mayor in the time frame between 1992 to 2016. Bowers is an independent candidate that used to be a Democrat and is now running against Democratic incumbent Sherman Lea for the top spot in Roanoke.

In a campaign video posted on Wednesday, Bowers briefly begins by talking about the importance of COVID-19 safety measures, before quickly pivoting towards an accusation made against him last year at a City Council meeting.

“Last year I attended a Roanoke City Council meeting and one of the activists referred to me as a white supremacist – which I’m not,” said Bowers in the video. “It didn’t bother me what she said, she is entitled to her own opinion no matter how wrong it may be.”

Bower then goes on to say that what actually did bother him during that interaction: the fact that no one defended him. “Neither the Mayor nor any member of Council, some of whom I’ve known for 20 years or more, stood up and defended me.”

While serving as Mayor in 2015, Bowers requested the City of Roanoke and all businesses to cut off aid to Syrian refugees. Bowers compared his situation to internment camps from World War II. “President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor,” said Bowers. “And it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”

In this new video, Bowers compares himself to other members of the community that “no one stood up for” – beginning with the Police Chief Tim Jones. After that, he compares himself to “residents and businesses along Salem Avenue who don’t want a bus station built across from where they live and they work.”

And finally, he chooses to align himself with Charlie Overstreet of Northwest Hardware, saying no one stood for up Charlie “when he spoke in opposition to a needle exchange office being placed on Williamson Road across from his very popular store.”

“The question I think that the people of Roanoke should be asking themselves during this campaign and going up to November 3rd is who stands up for us?” said Bowers as he finished up on this subject.

After a blank screen for a moment, Bower reappears with an immediate pivot towards questioning the integrity of the current elected government.

The candidate claims in the video that the current Mayor and three members of City Council” are “un-elected”.

“By their own vote, they extended their terms of office.” says Bowers “I don’t think that is very Democratic, and I am opposed to it.”

While Roanoke’s municipal elections in the past have taken place in May of even-numbered years, the democratic majority of City Council voted in 2019 to hold municipal elections in November of even-numbered years.

Councilors responded to these similar types of accusations last year to the Roanoke Times: “I’m hardly doing this to extend my term and it’s not for self-gratification,” said Councilwoman Trish White-Boyd. The Roanoke Times reported that she calculated she makes about $6.25 an hour for her council service.

“This council is anything but self-serving,” Councilwoman Anita Price said at the time.

Regardless of accusations made by Bowers, the elections have been legally moved to November giving candidates ample time to campaign. Bowers says to expect more of these videos from him covering the important issues, but he says he wanted to start with these two topics today.

“But there will be plenty of more discussions,” said Bowers as wraps up the campaign video.

You can watch the video yourself below.

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By vascope