The Full Text of Bowers’ Statement:
On this Patriot Day, September 11, 2023, after months of reflection, consultation with my wife, Margarita, family, friends and supporters, and much prayer, I have decided that my conscience compels me to join the Republican Party.
It may be considered “inconsiderate” by some longtime supporters and Democrats who have stood by me in the past. To all who have supported me, you really do have my sincere and heartfelt thanks. Together we have done a lot of good for our city, but I believe, as a citizen, that switching now is the right thing to do. Please be assured that I have made, in my own opinion, and that of my wife, a thoughtful and conscientious decision.
Today’s Democratic Party is not the party which embodied those historic and inspiring words of President John F. Kennedy, one of my heroes, in his 1961 Inaugural Address: “Ask not what your country can do for you…Ask what you can do for your country!” Today’s Democratic Party is all about: What can the government do for me!
On the national level, I’ve met Joe Biden many times and he’s one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. However, I am very disappointed that, instead of healing our nation, President Biden moved left toward the liberal Democrats and created a greater rift among our people. He should have brought us together, not divided us more. Also, I can’t understand how he can continue to neglect the migrant and border crisis our country now faces. And, by the way, I would not vote for an 82-year-old for President.
On the state level, I’ve become very impressed with Governor Glenn Youngkin as our Commonwealth’s leader. He’s very personable and has shared with us his vision, which is progressive and expansionist for Virginia, as we must do better competing in education and economic development with NC, SC, TN, GA and FL. I support our young Governor Youngkin.
Locally, I stand with many Roanoke citizens who believe that our current super-majority Democratic City Council has a mind of their own, has their own ideological strategy and is most interested in “Identity politics.” My focus, and that of the many Democrats and Republicans with whom I had the honor to serve as Mayor for 16 years, was, and still is: “Good Jobs, Good Schools, Good Neighborhoods.” My focus is different from theirs.
Local Democrats today are “nationally” oriented, and frankly, have not been personally friendly with my wife and me, with the exception of my longtime colleague, Mayor Sherman Lea, whom I will always honor as our mayor. I have to say that the Democrats, once a “big tent” party encompassing and respecting divergent views, has now become a party demanding strict adherence to liberal ideology…and if you’re not one of them, then they count you out!
Like many Roanokers, I’m dismayed at the current divide between our citizens. The super-majority Democrats on City Council, as I’ve stated above, are interested in promoting their liberal ideology. Don’t believe for a moment that they will act to serve the best interest of us homeowners, home renters, small and local business owners. City Council should be dealing with local issues like the murder rate, crime, homelessness and economic development in Evans Spring.
Margarita and I have been welcomed at several GOP events this summer. The Republicans seem to prioritize God and country (patriotism) first, which are especially important to us. We have become very comfortable with these local folks and the political positions for which they stand.
I’ve made this conscientious, thoughtful and prayerful decision because I believe the Republican Party is a better choice for my wife, my family and our city.
On this Patriot Day, God Bless America and our city.
– David Bowers