Sam Rasoul will make an “important announcement” next week regarding an open House of Delegates seat in the Roanoke area. And at first glance it would appear that Rasoul, who lost in his bid to unseat Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte last fall, might be throwing his hat into the ring for the Democratic Party nomination in the 17th House District race.
The seat, being vacated by Del. William Fralin, a Republican, has attracted more attention from Republicans than Democrats to date. Three Republicans, former Roanoke County Board of Supervisors member Mike Wray, John Josh Johnson, a Roanoke attorney, and Melvin Williams have declared their intentions for the GOP nomination, with reports that there could be more entrants in the field in the coming weeks.
One Democrat, Roanoke City Council member Gwen Mason, has declared for that party’s nomination to date.
A report by our friends at the Star City Harbinger suggests that Rasoul could be considering entering the race or publicly endoring Mason for the party nomination.
A statement sent out by Rasoul could be read either way.
“The 17th Virginia House of Delegates District is entirely within the Sixth Congressional District. Rasoul knows the people, the territory, and the economics of the 17th House of Delegates District very well from growing up in the region and from his vigorous, door-to-door campaign here last fall. Rasoul understands the need for good jobs in the district. Young people who grow up here should not have to move to find good jobs. People of all ages in the 17th District need economic opportunities to enjoy the same prosperity and high quality of life that previous generations of Virginians have enjoyed here,” the statement read.
The announcement is scheduled for Monday, March 23 at 1 p.m. in Roanoke.
– Story by Chris Graham