The build up to breaking the Roanoke County Republican Primary tie between Al Bedrosian and Mike Bailey for the nomination came and went quickly Tuesday Morning. There were puzzled and worried looks on Republican Party officials as 40 minutes ticked by with no announcement. A guard was at the Hollins Library voting room door and all he would say is “stick around it’s going to be something big.” The primary was eventually confirmed a tie 389-389.
Tuesday morning on the fourth floor of the Roanoke County Administration Building the two candidates were calm and smiling – at least on the outside. The Roanoke County Republican Chair, David Suetterlein read the rules and on the table was a red bag.
The candidates shook hands before being seated at the table flanked by Don Huffman a former Republican Party of Virginia Chair and 9th Central State District Representative Susan Edwards. Each candidate was given 5 markers identically sized to write their names on and Edwards placed them in the bag.
Suetterlein explained that this would have been the same process as a general election or a State Board of Elections Primary had they resulted in a tie. The former Republican Party of Virginia Chair, Don Huffman didn’t have to wait long to draw the name. “Al Bedrosian is the Republican nominee,” declared Suetterlein as Huffman handed him the marker drawn. Huffman, Bailey and Bedrosian all go to Shenandoah Baptist Church. “They’re all friends – someone had to lose,” said Huffman.
The tie in the Hollins District and close vote in the Windsor District where Joe McNamara won “showed just how significant each individual’s participation can mean in an elections outcome,” said Suetterlein.
Bedrosian said afterwards his goal was to reduce the size of government, rein in the exploding debt and bring prayer back into government. “Debt increases peoples taxes … we need to stop pushing God out of government,” he said.
Bailey said that neither he nor Bedrosian wanted it to end this way. “My role now is to help him in any way I can,” said Bailey. “I feel sorry for the people who said Mike I supported you – I couldn’t make it or Al I couldn’t be there – they are the ones I feel sorry for,” he said.
Bailey said he will spend more time with his grandchildren and was headed to Virginia Beach after the drawing no matter the outcome then on to the Virginia Republican Convention on the 18th. He has crossed off his list any future plans to seek another office.
There is no Democratic candidate but Bedrosian will face independent Gary Jarrell in November.
By Valerie Garner