Sunday, December 8, 2013

Trinkle Says He's Not Running Against Rasoul

Dave Trinkle
(Update, 2:30 p.m.: Dave Trinkle just posted this on his Facebook page: "I do not intend to seek the 11th District House of Delegates seat as an independent candidate. Sam Rasoul has been chosen to represent the democrats in this race and I support his candidacy. I ask that my supporters do the same. I intend to eagerly help Sam prepare for the challenge ahead of him and will offer my expertise and knowledge whenever appropriate so he may serve as a strong voice for the Star City and Roanoke Region in Richmond. It is critical that we all work together as a team to ensure his success in the special election on January 7, 2014.")

 It was both surprising and disappointing to learn yesterday evening that Dave Trinkle is considering running for the 11th District seat in the Virginia General assembly after losing by 44 votes to Sam Rasoul in yesterday's Democratic primary.

The final score was 846-802 with Trish White-Boyd coming in at a respectable 522 and City Councilman Court Rosen finishing at a fading 462. That was the order I predicted, though I am hardly a political forecaster. I'm almost always wrong.

Sam Rasoul's is a new and attractive face on a political landscape that has produced a lot of squabbling in Roanoke. David should have been an overwhelming choice, but his second-place finish among the hard-core party faithful showed that his decisions on City Council have consequences.

My guess is that he, Court Rosen and incumbent Bill Bestpitch would be well advised not to take their incumbency for granted in next spring's election. Miss White-Boyd, in my estimation, will pick off one of those seats at minimum, if she wants it.

There is a chance Trinkle could win it as an independent. The more likely outcome, however, would be to turn the seat over to the absurd Republican candidate, Octavia Johnson, who was recently bounced from her Sheriff's chair, but who remains formidable because of loyalty in the African-American community. I have two words for Dave: Ralph Smith.

Smith is likely Roanoke's worst mayor ... in the 125-year history of the city. He won in a three-way race against Democrats Mac McCadden and incumbent David Bowers, 34-33-33. Bowers or McCadden, alone, likely would have won 66-34. Splitting the overwhelming Democratic vote in the city is madness.

An irony here is that Bowers was reported to be grousing at the end of the primary yesterday about the use of underhanded tactics in the primary. I don't know what those would be or who he might have been talking about, but politics--at its very base--is not clean, though this appeared to be one of the cleanest and most gentlemanly (and gentlewomanly) races I've seen in a good while.

At the end of a long and disappointing day, Dave was quoted thusly about running as an independent: "Of course I have thought about that [running as an independent] and I'm still going to think about that a little bit." This is a man who has good sense, substantial good will and a lot of political skill. I hope he doesn't waste it in a run against Sam. That would be sad.


  1. Nice story Dan. Dave is well liked and respected by most everyone in the community I think he is smart enough to realize an independent run would have the unintended consequence of a boycott on his Fork restaurants by many of his current customers. Octavia would of course not participate and likely frequent the lovely comfy restaurants to find many empty tables and eat their yummy pizza.

  2. How did Sam Rasoul win?
    Hard work….well liked….articulate with the issue and he did not have a record…..Sam is a good man and will do a fabulous job representing Roanoke in the Virginia House of Delegates….no question on that….
    But how did the well-liked and respected duo of Court Rosen and David Trinkle lose….they had a record….
    When I ran for Council in 2000 along with Ralph Smith….I got to know Ralphs Campaign Manager….a die hard “R” political heavyweight from Boston….he had done a lot of campaigns and understood every level of politics….I enjoyed the discussions we would have after neighborhood Forums….strategy….demographics….messages …the sort of ins and outs of the process….he predicted I would win a seat…and by the way thought Ralph had no chance….but he told me if I had aspirations of higher office….I should not spend much time on Council ……time on Council would drastically hurt any chances of achieving higher office….Why? because regardless of how good of a job you do….with every decision there will be those agree and those who don’t….every decision is in the public spotlight….and with every decision or vote you take.. you will “Piss “ off someone…..he used John Edwards as an example….John had been elected to Council as Vice Mayor…. he was riding a wave of substantial support….but only spent 2 years on Council before running and winning a seat in the Virginia Senate….he had not been on Council long enough to “Have a record”
    David’s support of the Hotels at Valley View is an example…..he is now perceived by many as anti-neighborhood….even though he may had made 99% of all his other votes pro-neighborhood….they don’t count….a passionate issue…polarizing those who support it versus those against….with every vote taken at the local level someone is not happy and those passionate people remember that one vote as a bell weather of performance….the same is true for many issues that votes have to be taken…some agree…some don’t….there is no unanimity of public opinion at the local level…
    This Council has been very progressive….and I personally believe in the more global context they have done an excellent job at governing…it has been a solid team and have really moved Roanoke forward……
    All 4 candidates in Saturdays primary were worthy and would have done a fabulous job of representing Roanoke in Richmond….David and Court were handicapped not because they weren’t qualified or were excellent candidates but because they have a long record of decisions and votes…..I sincerely hope that David and Court continue doing their excellent work for the City ….It is not easy…