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3 challengers, 1 incumbent lead voting for Rocky Mount mayor, town council

Molly Hunter - The Roanoke Times

Nov 8, 2022

Rocky Mount voters appeared to have elected a new mayor Tuesday, with lawyer Holland Perdue well ahead of longtime incumbent Steve Angle in unofficial results as of 9 p.m.

Rocky Mount voters appeared to have elected a new mayor Tuesday, with lawyer Holland Perdue well ahead of longtime incumbent Steve Angle in unofficial results as of 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, candidates Ben Mullins, Ralph Casey and David Clements were leading the six-way race for three open Rocky Mount town council seats as of 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to unofficial results, while Perdue led the Rocky Mount mayoral race.

With only the Rocky Mount East precinct — one of the town’s two in-person election night precincts — reporting results for the two races, newcomer Perdue was ahead with 59.1% of the vote compared to Angle’s 40.3%.

This was Perdue’s first time running for a local elected office, but he has served on the Rocky Mount Board of Zoning Appeals for roughly four years and is currently its chairman. Board members are appointed by the Franklin County Circuit Court. Virginia law only prohibits a person from holding two different elected offices at the same time, so Perdue could serve as mayor while remaining on the board.

Perdue owns a law practice in Rocky Mount, Raine & Perdue, as well as a few local rental properties. He is also one of the owners of Rocky Mount restaurant, Anastasia’s.

Perdue’s 2022 victory would result in Angle’s first absence from town government in 32 years.

When Angle’s current term ends in December he will have served 16 consecutive years as mayor, having first been elected in 2006, then reelected in 2010, 2014 and 2018. Before becoming mayor, he spent 16 years as a Rocky Mount town council member.

Meanwhile, with six candidates vying for three seats, the Rocky Mount Town Council race was the most competitive it has been in more than a decade.

Phillip Bane, Clements, Mullins and Benjamin Pinckard Sr. competed alongside incumbents Casey and Bobby Moyer.

At 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, Mullins led the way in the Rocky Mount East precinct with 22.4% of the vote, while Casey and Clements followed behind with 19.6% and 17.9%, respectively.

Mullins, 30, is new to local government but a lifelong Rocky Mount resident. He teaches at Franklin County Public Schools and owns Rocky Mount Landscapes. Mullins feels passionately that Rocky Mount is a wonderful place to live and wants to be part of making it a place to which people return.

“I love that I can walk from my house to a Harvester show, I love that my grandma sets up at the farmer’s market and I can take my son by to see her. I love the jobs that we have here, I love the family I have here, I love the friends that I have here,” Mullins said in September.

Casey has lived in Rocky Mount since 1973 and before retiring he worked for the American Electric Power Co. in Franklin County for 35 years.

Since February, Casey has occupied one of the seats up for election. Casey was appointed to serve the remainder of Bobby Cundiff’s term after he stepped down, making Casey’s bid to keep the council seat his first time on the ballot.

This was Clements’ second bid for council. In 2020, he received 19% of the vote, coming last in a four-way race for three seats.

A Rocky Mount native, Clements formerly owned David Clements Plumbing, a business he operated for 48 years, and has been a volunteer firefighter for 46 years.

Clements currently serves on the Franklin County Planning Commission, in the Rocky Mount District seat. Members of the planning commission are appointed, not elected by the general public.

In an Aug. 31 interview with The Roanoke Times, Clements said he planned to remain on the commission if elected to the town council.

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