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Roanoke County Races Take Some Twists And Turns

Butch Church and Charlotte Moore

by Valerie Garner

All was quiet in the Roanoke County Board of Supervisor races until a week ago when incumbent Catawba District Independent Chairman Joe “Butch” Church’s leadership style came into question. Some say Church is overly controlling, while others say that his style is a sign of passion for the job. Recent revelations still hang heavy over his campaign for reelection.

The question as to whether Becky Meador, the board clerk was terminated in 2010, or “just not who Church wanted handling his agenda,” has yet to be answered. Carter Turner, Church’s Independent opponent wanted to know what the $23,000 paid to the clerk upon termination was called. If it wasn’t severance, then what was it and who authorized it and why?

Church had a falling out with the Republican Party but was successfully elected as an Independent in the last election. He still holds some grievance with the party as was demonstrated when use of the county’s meeting chamber led him to lead the effort to ban use of it for political party meetings. The chamber had been left in disarray after a contentious Republican mass meeting, according to Church.

Carter Turner

Roanoke County Republican chair Mike Bailey at the time called Church’s move “vindictive.” Supervisor Charlotte Moore and Ed Elswick supported Church’s action at the time, but supervisors Altizer and Flora convinced them to back off from the proposal at a subsequent meeting.

Republican David Drake is also challenging Church. Drake wants to bring a fresh look to the board.

Cave Spring District Supervisor Charlotte Moore is also fending off challengers. Republican George Assaid and Independent Stan Seymour said they would end the county’s support for ICLEI. ICLEI is claimed to be an affront to property rights and is condemned by the Roanoke Tea Party. Moore supports ICLEI. Church said he would consider eliminating the county’s support for it.

Moore, elected as a Democrat, is defending her seat as an Independent for the first time. She defends Church’s leadership style. Whether her defense of Church will help or turn away voters is unclear. At times Church and Moore seem joined at the hip with Elswick holding hands with both of them on many issues, leaving Altizer and Flora on the sidelines.

Republican Carla Bream is challenging Democrat Nancy Horn for the County’s Commissioner of Revenue. Bream faults Horn for a lack of responsiveness on the part of Horn’s office—specifically not answering the phone immediately with a live person. Horn touts her assistance to veterans and ongoing education of her staff. Independent Bruce Love is also challenging Horn and says he brings a wealth of real-world business experience to the job.

Democrat Sheriff Mike Winston, Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Leach and Treasurer Kevin Hutchins are unopposed.

For the county school board Catawba District representative A.C. Burke is challenging incumbent David Wymer. Cave Spring District, incumbent Odell “Fuzzy” Minnix is unopposed.

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