Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2 Democrats seek nomination for Roanoke sheriff race

At least two people will seek the Democratic nomination in the race to replace Roanoke Sheriff Octavia Johnson in November.

Tim Allen, a retired officer at the Western Virginia Regional Jail, on Tuesday confirmed his plans to run. A 26-year veteran of the jail system, Allen said he'll make a formal announcement Friday morning in the city council chambers.

He isn't the only one looking to make a play for the office.

Joe Bush, a former Roanoke probation and parole officer, has already started sticking his campaign signs in the ground across the city.

Bush, who lost the 2009 Democratic primary for the same office, announced in August his plans to challenge Johnson again.

"We were going around, talking to community groups and neighborhood groups to get an idea of what they want in a sheriff's office," Bush said.

A check with the city registrar shows that no candidate has officially filed to run for the office.

Johnson, a Republican, did not return a phone call inquiring about whether she intends to seek a third term.

She won in 2009 by less than 1 percent of the vote, edging out Frank Garrett, one of her former deputies. She dismissed Garrett from the agency shortly after her re-election. He now works as a deputy at the Botetourt County Sheriff's Office.

Allen and Bush already have started building an online presence for their presumptive bids for the office. The Democratic firehouse primary is set for June 11. The election will be Nov. 5.

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