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Meet the Candidates

Front Royal Election 2020: A conversation with Mike McCool, Candidate for Mayor Front Royal

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss issues that are important to all of us. The Royal Examiner asked Michael Graham, a former Town Manager of Front Royal to host these conversations. As a former Town Manager, Michael has an insight into the issues facing the Town and hopefully be able to bring out from each candidate their vision and plan if they are to be elected in the November 3rd election.

In this conversation, Michael has another conversation with Mike McCool. McCool is seeking to be the next Front Royal Mayor.

All local candidates have been invited to participate in this ‘Meet the Candidate’ series. Please be sure to vote.

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Meet the Candidates

Front Royal Election 2020 – Insights from Letasha Thompson

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss issues that are important to all of us. The Royal Examiner asked Michael Graham, a former Town Manager of Front Royal to host these conversations. As a former Town Manager, Michael has an insight into the issues facing the Town and hopefully be able to bring out from each candidate their vision and plan if they are to be elected in the November 3rd election.

In this conversation, Michael talks with Letasha about her two years on the Council and issues facing the Town. She outlined several ideas on how the new Council can address issues facing us. She stressed community unity, including community policing, drug problems in our community, family, and more.

All local candidates have been invited to participate in this ‘Meet the Candidate’ series. Please be sure to vote.

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Meet the Candidates

Meet the Candidates: Joe McFadden – Front Royal Town Council, Round 2

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss issues that are important to all of us. The Royal Examiner asked Michael Graham, a former Town Manager of Front Royal to host these conversations. As a former Town Manager, Michael has an insight into the issues facing the Town and hopefully be able to bring out from each candidate their vision and plan if they are to be elected in the November 3rd election.

In this conversation, Michael will speak again with Joe McFadden. McFadden is seeking a seat on the Front Royal Town Council.

All local candidates have been invited to participate in this ‘Meet the Candidate’ series. Please be sure to vote.

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Meet the Candidates

Town Talk: A conversation with Nicholas Betts, Democratic candidate for Congress, 6th District

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Nicholas Betts, the Democratic candidate for Congress, 6th District. His opponent is Ben Cline.

Nicholas Betts has lived in Virginia virtually his entire adult life. He moved to Virginia when he was 18 years old to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, where he met his wife, Lindsey Betts, during their Freshman year of college in 2008. Their relationship continued after college, they were married in 2015, and they currently live in Lexington, Virginia.

Nicholas has worked in construction and landscaping, as a graduate teaching assistant, a substitute teacher, a contract manager for a small family business, and now as a law clerk in Roanoke, Virginia. He knows what it is like to work hard and to achieve goals in the face of adversity.

Betts said, “If elected to Congress to represent the 6th District of Virginia, I will fight hard for Freedom, and will go to Washington to work, not to play politics.”

His platform is spelled out on his website. Read it here.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Meet the Candidates

Meet the Candidates: Josh Ingram – Front Royal Town Council, Round 2

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss issues that are important to all of us. The Royal Examiner asked Michael Graham, a former Town Manager of Front Royal to host these conversations. As a former Town Manager, Michael has an insight into the issues facing the Town and hopefully be able to bring out from each candidate their vision and plan if they are to be elected in the November 3rd election.

In this conversation, Michael will speak again with Josh Ingram. Ingram is seeking a seat on the Front Royal Town Council.

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Meet the Candidates

Front Royal Election 2020: Eugene Tewalt, candidate for Town Council, concerned about Anthem and Town/County employees

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss issues that are important to all of us. The Royal Examiner asked Michael Graham, a former Town Manager of Front Royal to host these conversations. As a former Town Manager, Michael has an insight into the issues facing the Town and hopefully be able to bring out from each candidate their vision and plan if they are to be elected in the November 3rd election.

In this conversation, Michael will speak with Eugene Tewalt, this time concerning the announcement that Valley Health will not be accepting the Anthem Health Plan next year. This is a concern because the Town’s health care plan is from Anthem. Tewalt is seeking a seat on the Front Royal Town Council.

According to Valley Health, Anthem has been unwilling to work with Valley Health caregivers.  Valley Health says they are preparing for the possibility that Valley Health will no longer be in-network with Anthem beginning January 1, 2021. If this occurs, Anthem will consider all Valley Health caregivers and services out-of-network, and Anthem-insured patients could see higher costs.

All local candidates have been invited to participate in this ‘Meet the Candidate’ series. Please be sure to vote.

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Local Government

Chamber’s Town Candidates Forum relatively calm – compared to what?

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On Wednesday night, September 30, for the first time all candidates in the November Town election showed up at the same time, in the same place to answer questions and state their priorities if elected to either the mayor’s seat or one of three Front Royal Town Council spots on the line this year. That’s right, sports fans all 11 – three mayoral and eight council – candidates together, at least physically, likely for the only time in the run up to November 3rd.

Responsible was the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, annual host of the event held in the main meeting room of the Warren County Government Center. Bryon Biggs served as moderator, with Niki Foster Cales and Tina Tolliver holding the flank.

Moderator Bryon Biggs sets the stage for Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce Town Candidates Forum as from left, mayoral candidates James Favors, Mike McCool and Chris Holloway listen. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini – Royal Examiner Video by Mark Williams

And speaking of holding the flank, the evening’s lightest moment drawing considerable laughter, was independent council candidate Darryl Merchant’s closing comment commending the Chamber for its hosting of the event and his fellow candidates’ for their generally polite, non-adversarial tone “after that travesty last night” reference to the first presidential debate that left its moderator, FOX Sunday news anchor Chris Wallace scrambling to maintain order.

Wednesday evening’s only testy moment came during mayoral candidate Chris Holloway’s closing comments when he referenced rival Mike McCool’s ownership of this news outlet, among other gripes.

“People want change, well as for the Royal Examiner, every time you read the Royal Examiner it’s nothing but hate. The council seems like it can’t do anything right,” Holloway said.

Uh oh, are those two getting ready to take it ‘out back’ Favors to left, may be thinking as mayoral forum proceeds into final remarks.

That led Examiner publisher McCool to pull his one-time available red challenge card to respond. However, moderator Biggs informed the candidate that the challenge card was not usable during the closing comments portion of the forum, only during question-and-answers.

That led the two mayoral rivals to continue their conversation in the WCGC hallway during the break to the council portion of the forum. It appeared they agreed to disagree on the factual basis of Royal Examiner’s content, particularly as it applies to the town government.

But mayoral candidates McCool and Holloway only took it to the hallway and didn’t even need Gary Kushner, joining below, to referee as while remaining at odds, the candidates remained relatively cordial compared to the previous evening’s presidential duo.

That second, council portion of the forum was observed by only two of the three mayoral candidates, as Holloway was noticeably absent from sight for the forum of those seeking to join him for the next two years in town government. Holloway’s council seat is not up for re-election this year, so were he to lose the three-way mayor’s race he would retain his council seat for the next two years before facing re-election. Recent Frederick County transplant, but long-time Front Royal-Warren County visitor he noted, James Favors is the third mayoral candidate.

Rather than run the risk of being labeled the author of a “hate-filled” or slanted story on the forum – though it may be too late for that – I will simply recommend that readers go to the video to see both forum segments, first the mayor’s and then council’s and judge for yourself how the candidates did and what they had to say in response to the submitted questions, and why they deserve your vote whenever between now and November 3 you cast it. Those questions included ones on the Town’s relationship to the County and existing EDA and the pending creation of a second, unilateral, totally Town-funded EDA; the best path forward in Tourism marketing for this community; growth and water availability; how to approach road and other infrastructure needs; and the fate of the Confederate soldiers statue on the courthouse lawn.

The council candidates, from left, Josh Ingram, Scott Lloyd, Joseph McFadden, Betty Showers, Gene Tewalt, Bruce Rappaport, Lori Cockrell and Darryl Merchant.

Watch and judge for yourself as the candidates seeking to represent all the town’s citizens explain their perception on these and other issues and challenges facing the town government in coming years:

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Upcoming Events

Nov
20
Fri
all-day Gobble Till You Wobble Virtual 5k @ Online Event
Gobble Till You Wobble Virtual 5k @ Online Event
Nov 20 – Nov 29 all-day
Gobble Till You Wobble Virtual 5k @ Online Event
Take part in the 1st annual Gobble Till You Wobble United Way Virtual 5K Run/Walk. Capture your run or walk using a fitness tracker or app and submit for a chance to win gift cards and[...]
Nov
27
Fri
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Nov 27 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
Nov
28
Sat
all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Nov 28 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]
10:00 am Christmas Tree Embroidery Class @ Downtown Market
Christmas Tree Embroidery Class @ Downtown Market
Nov 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Christmas Tree Embroidery Class @ Downtown Market
Learn how to embroider a Christmas tree using basic embroidery stitches – no craft or sewing experience needed! The finished tree can be displayed in the embroidery hoop. This class is appropriate for adults and[...]
Nov
29
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Nov 29 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
Dec
5
Sat
all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Dec 5 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]
7:00 am 64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
Dec 5 @ 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
The Kiwanis Club of Front Royal is celebrating its 75 anniversary this year and are committed to holding the annual Pancake Day fundraising event. This event raises significant funds which are put back directly into[...]
7:00 pm Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Dec 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
It’s that time of year for Rotary Club of Front Royal’s annual Cash Fair, and we are going virtual this year due to COVID. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and[...]
Dec
6
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 6 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
Dec
13
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 13 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]