The Carroll County Republican Primary will take place that day, with the nomination for four constitutional officer positions up for grabs.
Voters can vote for a Republican nominee for Sheriff, Commissioner of the Revenue, Commonwealth Attorney and Treasurer.
Each of the candidates was asked the same question: “If, a couple of days before the primary, you were talking to an undecided voter, what would you say to sway their vote?”
of the Revenue
With the upcoming retireme nt of Commissioner of the Revenue Louise Quesenberry, three candidates are vying for the Republican nomination for the position.
Fran McPherson has been in the Commissioner’s office for more than two decades and she’s leaning on that experience and her strong working relationships with people in local government as her strongest points for election. She said her knowledge of the workings within the Commissioner’s office is a strength her competitors can’t match.
“I hope my 23 years of experience and my working relationship with the other offices will help the voters make their decision,” McPherson said.
Phillip Berrier has served as an elected official on the Carroll County School Board. He was a school principal at age 24 and has run two successful businesses, including Cana Tax Service. He said working with people on their taxes fits well with the Commissioner’s position.
“My experience and my tax work prepares me for doing the job,” Berrier said. “It’s a tax-related position so that should be advantageous for me. I’ve been a leader and I’ve been successful in a lot of different things. Those are the primary reasons I think I can be successful.”
Webb, who farms and serves as an agricultural teacher at Carroll County High School, is a member of the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority and from an accounting standpoint has done everything up to taking the CPA exam.
He said if elected, he would serve as a liaison for the people to their elected officers, making sure the people are taxed fairly and those they put in office didn’t spend frivolously.
“I think for the Commissioner’s job and if I get in there, my main objective is everybody is taxed fairly, that your taxes are assessed fairly,” Webb said. “It will be my job to be accountable for the taxes charged you. I’m going to try to attend every Board of Supervisors meeting, I’ll talk to them if I think we’re spending too much money. I want to have the checks and balances in place. When Thomas Jefferson and the forefathers put certain checks and balances in place, you had several people looking after the business of the citizens. As a constitutional officer, it will be my place to be the voice of the people in the county government.”
Sheriff Warren Manning is retiring at the end of this term, and three veteran members of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office have designs on being the man to replace him.
Chief Deputy Glenn Nester has been in that position for 18 years and has served as a member of the Sheriff’s Office for 31 years. He said he has learned from the three previous sheriffs and feels he can use that experience to lead the department.
“I’ve been in the position to help run this thing for 18 years as Chief Deputy,” Nester said. “I’ve been trained by three sheriffs. I feel like I can step right in and do the best job I know how to do. I’ve learned from all three of them.”
Gardner has been in law enforcement for 29 years and was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps before that. Gardner said he has experience in a variety of different areas of law enforcement and in instruction and that varied experience gives him many different perspectives he can rely on as sheriff.
“I have a tremendous amount of experience in different levels in my department,” Gardner said. “I’m a fire scene investigator, a crime scene investigator, a sex crime investigator, homicide investigator, a SCUBA diver, a teacher in the high school, as far as I know, the only SRO with a teaching license in Virginia. I’ve got 29 years of law enforcement experience and four years of Marine Corps experience. I’ve got a lot of leadership experience from the Marine Corps, I was a sergeant. I’ve basically spent all of my adult life either serving this country or serving the citizens of the county.”
Bobbitt is a 27-year law enforcem ent veteran who has served in all capacities from road deputy to sergeant to investigator. He said communication is key for any sheriff’s department to do its job effectively and that’s an aspect he would stress if elected.
“We need to get the community involved with our Sheriff’s Office. This Sheriff’s Office belongs to them. If I can get the trust in the community in the Sheriff’s Office, get them to open up more, they and us working together as one can solve a lot of our problems such as our home break-ins, drugs,” Bobbitt said. “We can do that. We can work in partnership. I have new programs I would like to see implemented. I want to continue the programs Sheriff Manning’s got. I want to get out there and do community forums with the people. I want to let them know what the Sheriff’s Office is doing for them. I want the community to let me know what problems they’ve got so I can bring it back to the Sheriff’s Office. We’re going to work in partnership with the surrounding agencies and departments and come together as a whole. Our criminals don’t know where lines are. We need to communicate with surrounding departments. I want proactive work being done instead of reactive work.”
Incumbent Commonwealth Attorney Gregory G. Goad has served as the county’s prosecutor for 20 years. In that time, he has procured numerous convictions and has implemented measures to save the county and its taxpayers money. Goad said he also keeps the public abreast of the workings of the office with his radio program every other Saturday on WHHV 1400 AM.
“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve as your Commonwealth’s Attorney for 20 years,” Goad said. “I have successfully prosecuted every murder case, the longest jury trial in Carroll County history and secured the first capital murder conviction since 1954. I prosecuted the first case to use DNA evidence to assist in securing a conviction. I successfully prosecuted the first case in county history that was ultimately resolved in the United States Supreme Court. I’ve never had a case reversed on appeal. I’ve also hired a collection agency and now the Department of Taxation to pursue delinquent court fines and costs and they have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars justly due the taxpayers. I am also in court almost on a daily basis prosecuting every type of case there is. I have worked hard for you for the past 20 years and I would appreciate the opportunity to continue to fight for you.”
Goad said he is very involved in the community as a longtime member and former president of the Hillsville Rotary Club and during his tenure, the club named Virginia Tech football coach and Carroll County native Frank Beamer a Paul Harris Fellow. He served on the Radford University Board of Visitors for eight years and was Vice Chairman of the Board for the last five. He drives one of the spooky hayrides during Hillsville’s Safe Halloween celebration.
Challenger Nathan Lyons said he would use every resource available to make Carroll County a tougher place for drug dealers to do business and he would work closely with victims of all crimes throughout the trial process to see that justice is done. Lyons has knowledge of the office’s workings, as he served as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney from 2002 to 2006. He has been a partner at Lyons & Lyons, Attorneys at Law, P.C. ever since.
“I’m accountable, I’m responsible, I’m accessible to the people. I pledge to be fair,” Lyons said. “I pledge to go after drug laws and go after drug crimes. I plan to use civil forfeitures in drug cases to hopefully effectively target drug activity. if you take away the resources of drug dealers, they can’t operate. I’ll have notification at every stage of proceedings in all aspects of their case for victims, so they have input in overall outcome.”
Incumbent Treasurer Bonita Williams is running unopposed on the Republican ticket. Williams is seeking a fourth term in the position. She said in her time as treasurer, the office has become more user-friendly.
“I’ve been treasurer for three terms and I have utilized every tool available to make the collection and the trip to the treasurer’s office easier for the public,” Williams said. “We have online pay now. We accept credit cards now. I would like to continue to serve the citizens in a professional, efficient and courteous manner and to be sensitive to their needs.”
Williams said she has enjoyed the citizens of Carroll County as treasurer and said she would appreciate their support in the primary.
Polls open for the Carroll County Republican Primary at 6 a.m. and they will remain open until 7 p.m.