Thursday, November 21, 2013

Take Back the House; Vote Sam Rasoul

It's baby-kissing time for Sam Rasoul.
Roanoke Democrats will shortly be voting in a primary to fill Onzlee Ware's 11th District House seat in the Virginia General Assembly and the field appears to be set with a tight pack of Democrats and one Republican. The race, from my angle, comes down to a contest between Roanoke Vice Mayor David Trinkle, a worthy man whose entire family has served Roanoke well for decades, and newcomer Sam Rasoul, whose promise is unlimited.

The Republican candidate, Octavia Johnson who recently lost her job as Sheriff and is looking for something to do, is not a factor.

David has proved himself a competent City Council member, though I have disagreed with his decisions on occasion, especially over unruly development. Sam has no record of elected service, but he has run twice--bitten off more than he could chew each time--and shown great enthusiasm, sincerity, grit and work ethic. He lost a race for Congress against long-time incumbent Bob Goodlatte, the perfectly awful but popular Republican, and for mayor against incumbent David Bowers. Sam's problem each time was that he was not ready for those kinds of races against entrenched incumbents.

I think Sam's not only ready for office now, but ready for this office, which has been, in effect, vacant since Ware was elected years ago. Roanoke has been all but without representation in the House and when it has been represented, Ware has often been a dupe for Republicans. Ware is looking for a judgeship these days and I don't imagine he'll get one because--according to his legal colleagues--he simply doesn't qualify.

David could be an effective legislator in Richmond if he had time to do it, but I don't believe he does. He works two full-time jobs in medicine with Carilion and Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and he owns two successful restaurants. I don't like the idea of eliminating a candidate because he has too much on his plate--so to speak--but David is far overbooked with very important work. He's not a wealthy offender's drunk driving lawyer looking for attention, like Congressman Morgan Griffith. His business is people's lives.

David is sincere, loves his area and believes he can do a good job. I suspect the job he would do would be serviceable. We want, need and deserve more than that.

Sam is new, enthusiastic, full of ideas, progressive and he knows this city. I think he is by far the best of this field of candidates and urge you to not only support him, but to work for him.

(Photo: Ron Bailey)

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