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Roanoke city elects two new council members

Bill Bestpitch will keep his city council seat

ROANOKE, Va.- – There are now two new Roanoke City Council members. Joe Cobb and Djuana Osborne racked up the majority of the votes. Bill Bestpitch will keep his City Council seat after earning 17 percent of the votes.

In a surprise, City Council incumbent Ray Ferris did not have enough votes to keep his seat and Democratic candidate Robert Jeffery Jr was also not able to get enough votes.

The founders of the Hope Initiative, Grover Price and Peacemakers Shawn Hunter also did not have enough votes to secure a seat. 

Joe Cobb is the Vice-mayor elect. He's also the first openly gay City Council member, something he says is important as a representative of the city.

"Someone who listens, someone who is engaged in the ideas of the city and how to make the city stronger and healthier. I think people connect with my platform, Roanoke is not just being a welcoming city but an inclusive city where everyone feels included," said Cobb. 

Djuna Osborne is also making history with her win. There are now three woman on council.

"A fresh perspective we haven't done this before so we're not buying them by any rules or the way things have been done. I think he is going to bring a little bit of levity to government," said Osborne. 

Bill Bestpitch is an incumbent. He's held his seat on and off since 2000. 

 "Being re-elected is pretty much a reflection that people have seen what I've done over the years I've been on City Council and they appreciate it and they want it to continue. So I don't plan on to make any major changes," said Bestpitch. 

Ray Ferris, a council member of eight years, did not get re-elected but he said the new council will continue to do good work. 

"Very confident that we will be moving forward. I'm of course disappointed that I'm not going to be part of the team but I think the citizens and voters have spoken. And I can understand their decision and I appreciate and respect it," said Ferris.