Behold the three candidates seeking election to the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors from the Hollins district.
We have Republican Al Bedrosian, a proud Christian making his fourth run for public office, who I wrote about Sunday; Independent Gary Jarrell, who currently represents Hollins on the Roanoke County County Planning Commission; and Democrat Brian Lang, the controversial chairman of the Roanoke County Democratic Committee. He was part of a column in April.
Lang, nominated Monday night, is the latest entry and wildcard in this race. Many had thought it would be a head-to-head match up between Jarrell, a sensible moderate who was persuaded to run by retiring Supervisor Richard Flora, and Bedrosian, who won the nomination by drawing lots after a tied firehouse primary against former county GOP chairman Mike Bailey. Bedrosian is about as far-right as you can get.
This sets up a situation in which Lang and Jarrell could split the moderate vote and allow Bedrosian, whom the Roanoke Tea Party has more or less dubbed a perfect candidate, to slip into the seat.
That might make for some highly entertaining supervisors meetings. But it could be a travesty if Independent incumbent Supervisor Ed Elswick, I-Windsor Hills, manages to beat former supervisor Joe McNamara.
Because then, the five member board would be dominated by three Tea Party supervisors: Bedrosian, Elswick and Butch Church, I-Catawba.
(There is no contest in the Vinton District, where Planning Commission member Jason Peters is running unopposed as a Republican. Church and Charlotte Moore, I-Cave Spring, aren’t up for reelection until 2015).
So what do you make of this race? Can Bedrosian, who pulled more than 600 write-in votes four years ago in a last-minute bid, win it this time around with tihe GOP nomination? Will Lang serve as a spoiler for Jarrell, or vice versa?
And could that give the Tea Party the board majority they’ve long pined for?
Put your thoughts in the comments below.