A political action committee representing the Roanoke region’s business community is endorsing a Republican for mayor — and three incumbent Democrats for City Council.  The Business Leadership Fund endorses business owner Republican Mark Lucas for mayor over incumbent Democrat David Bowers. WFIR’s Evan Jones has reaction from both candidates.

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The Business Leadership Fund is also endorsing Democrat Council incumbents Sherman Lea, Anita Price, and Court Rosen.   The fund is contributing $15,000 to the Lucas campaign and $1,000 each to Lea, Price, and Rosen.

Here is the full Business Leadership Fund news release:


The Business Leadership Fund, a political action committee representing the regional business community, is pleased to announce its endorsement of Mark Lucas for Mayor in the City of Roanoke.

The Business Leadership Fund recently held interviews with each mayoral candidate. Director John Williamson stated, “The Business Leadership Fund Board members were impressed by Lucas’ vision of the important role that the Mayor could play in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in the City of Roanoke. Based on his serial entrepreneur experience as a business owner, Lucas offered several compelling ideas on how to enhance the Roanoke Valley’s competitiveness for business growth and job creation. His enthusiasm, commitment and energy for helping to create a more vibrant community will be an asset for the entire region.”

Members of the Business Leadership Fund also endorse City Council incumbents Sherman Lea, Jr., Anita Price, and Court Rosen. Board chairman Mike Pace stated, “Each of these candidates understands the unique challenges facing the City of Roanoke and has demonstrated a commitment to working cooperatively to find fiscally responsible solutions. The Business Leadership Fund believes that all three incumbents have earned an opportunity to continue moving the City forward.”

The Business Leadership Fund was organized in 1998 to strengthen the voice of the region’s business community in support of economic development, regionalism, and progressive government.