|ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – A new candidate is stepping into the spotlight for what was once thought to be a one-person race for Roanoke mayor.
Current city councilman Sherman Lea won the democratic nomination for mayor and remains unopposed on the republican side.
An independent candidate, however is fighting his way onto the ballot.
Martin Jeffrey launched his campaign after it was official that the Roanoke city mayor’s race would only have one candidate to vote for. Jeffrey says that it was actually a group of community members who decided he should run for mayor.
Jeffrey says he has lived in the star city for 30 years now, and has been active in community organizations like the NAACP and total action for progress.
His supporters gathered what he says is enough signatures to be put on the ballot – but they all were not properly authorized.
At the moment they are contesting the process in regards to how the city handled it.
They are still waiting on a response from the state. In the meantime – that’s not stopping him. He says if he can’t be on the ballot- he will run as a write-in-candidate.
“It’s not informal, it’s a legitimate part of the voting process and we intend to unveil ourselves of that and voters of that so that citizens will have a choice,” Jeffrey said. “They ought to have a choice, especially when so much is at stake. either way, we are going to have a campaign.
At noon Thursday the democratic party held a rally for their city council candidates as well as their mayoral nominee, current council member Sherman Lea. A forum will be held Thursday night at 7 p.m. for all city council member candidates so the public can have a chance to hear from them.
Sherman Lea will not be in attendance, but Martin Jeffrey will. Although he is not officially on the ballot at the moment, he will be allowed to speak to the public to talk about why he wants to run for mayor.
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