Roanoke voters will see familiar foes on the ballot for Commonwealth’s Attorney

Election Day is set for November 2

Gun violence, gang violence and substance abuse are among the issues Roanoke City Commonwealth's Attorney candidates discussed with 10 News.

ROANOKE, Va – In just over a week, voters in the city of Roanoke will head to the polls to pick their next Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Incumbent Don Caldwell, who is running as an independent, is seeking his 11th term in the role.

“I’m running again because as my sign says integrity matters. I think I’ve got it and I don’t believe my opponent does,” said Caldwell.

One major focus for Caldwell if re-elected would be addressing elder abuse in our region.

“I really do think that the next big tear for criminal law is going to be elder fraud, physical abuse, just kind of start off trying to get a section of my attorneys that can handle those type cases,” Caldwell said.

His Democratic opponent, Melvin Hill, has a new vision for the role.

“He’s trying to win an election. I’m trying to save lives,” said Hill.

[Roanoke’s Commonwealth’s Attorney candidates share how they plan to combat gun violence]

Hill and Caldwell last faced off on the ballot in 2017, when Caldwell won with 53.8% of the vote.

Hill said his top priority would be addressing an uptick in violence in the city.

“We do have gangs in Roanoke there’s no question about it. They’re recruiting individuals as young as elementary-school-age children. So my view, of it, in order to stem the tide, if you will, of the gun violence that we’ve seen, almost epidemic proportions here in the city of Roanoke is by prevention,” said Hill.

Caldwell said he’s unsure that he would run again if he felt someone else could take on the role, but Hill said he is ready to take the position if elected next week.

“So, like an individual has a reputation, elected to public office who don’t follow the law that goes around the state,” Caldwell said.

“All he does his attack, and he does not say what he plans to do about the gun violence issue, the gang violence issue,” said Hill.

Election Day is set for November 2.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.