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Democrats Take Full Control of Russell County

Tim Craig

There is an interesting political story in Russell County, located in Southwest Virginia's coal country.

In the Nov. 6 election, businessman Jon I. Bowerbank VII unseated Republican incumbent D. Carter McGlothlin for an at-large seat on the Russell County Board of Supervisors. Bowerbank got 44 percent of the vote in a race that also included Democrat Clarence E. "Butch" Ball.

Bowerbank said his political advisers have told him he became the first independent in southern or southwestern Virginia since the Civil War to win a race against both a Democrat and a Republican candidate. (But he's not sure if he believes them.)

Either way, Bowerbank doesn't plan to stay an independent for long.

When the new board meets in January, Bowerbank said he will align with the Democrats.

His decision means Democrats will hold every county office in Russell County. Even though Russell is a heavily Democratic County, political observers say its been years since there hasn't been a Republican in a countywide office.

In an interview, Bowerbank said he feels more comfortable in the Democratic Party, even though he ran as an independent.

"I have always mainly been a Democrat, except in 1984 when I voted for Reagan," Bowerbank said.

But Bowerbank stressed the political chattering class in Richmond shouldn't make too much of the new all blue face of the Russell County. "It's not like we are not going to be discussing pulling troops out of Iraq," Bowerbank said.

By Tim Craig  |  December 6, 2007; 4:32 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Comments

"all blue"? are they being strangled?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

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