ROANOKE, Va. – Two candidates. One star city. Current Roanoke City Mayor Sherman Lea is facing off against the former mayor, David Bowers, in the 2020 election.
Both told 10 News on Monday that they are feeling cautiously optimistic.
“Pretty confident, not over-confident,” said Lea.
“I’m hopeful for an upset tomorrow," said Bowers.
The candidates differ on one controversial, key point: the downtown bus station. Lea wants to see a new bus station built. One proposed site is in front of the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
“The most important thing that I want the citizens to know is that we’re going to build a bus station and it’s going to be in our downtown area," said Lea.
Bowers wants to renovate the current location on Campbell Avenue and have a developer use the site in front of the museum instead.
“There’s another plan to put apartments and condos and a broad boulevard right here leading up to the transportation museum," said Bowers. "And that’s a better plan.”
Tackling the gun violence in the city is also a top priority for each candidate.
Lea wants to hone in on education and said he had to rebuild the city’s reputation when he was elected in 2016.
“I’m proud of where Roanoke is and I’m proud of the direction that we’re taking and moving this city forward," said Lea.
Bowers wants to focus on jobs and wants Roanoke to take a different route.
“This is a chance for a change in Roanoke. We can put a mayor and three new council members on Roanoke City Council. That will bring a new direction to the Star City,” said Bowers.
Both hope to lead the city through the next four years.