The Salem Kiwanis Club held a forum Tuesday at the Salem Civic Center for the four candidates who are running for Salem City Council in this November’s election.
Attendees of the forum heard from candidates John Saunders, Randy Foley, Anne Marie Green and Hunter Holliday.
Candidates gave opening speeches, took questions and delivered closing statements. The four candidates are running for two seats.
Foley and Saunders are current council members who are seeking reelection.
Foley was elected to the council in May of 2006. He served as mayor from July 1, 2008 to June 20, 2020.
He said he feels the council has accomplished a lot since he joined, including making it through the Great Recession and COVID-19.
“I think I’ve done a great job,” he said.
He noted that some big decisions will be coming before the council in the near future. If reelected, he said he looks forward to being a part of the decision-making.
Saunders was elected to the council in May of 2018. He was sworn in on July 2, 2018.
“I think I have a good handle on how the city was designed to be operated,” Saunders said, citing his experience working for the city. “I’ve tried my best to fulfill the duties I feel like I should.”
He went on to say that he’s running for reelection because he said he isn’t done yet. “There’s a lot of things I still want to get fixed,” he said.
Holliday cited the fact that he is Salem born and bred as a reason why he’s qualified to serve on the council. “My love for this city, for its citizens is unmatched,” he said.
He went on to say that he will “always do what’s best for the citizens of Salem.”
Holliday added that as a small business owner with a background in communications, finance, public affairs and community relations, he feels he will be able to bring a “much needed outside perspective to Salem City Council.”
Green noted that she has more than 30 years of local government experience. She moved to Salem in 1989.
“Local government is my passion,” Green said. “I have loved working for local government.”
She cited three topics she wants to focus on, including economic development, infrastructure and city employees.
No-excuse early voting at the Salem Registrar’s Office begins Sept. 23. The early voting period will end Nov. 5. Voting can be done from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The last day to update registration or to register to vote in the November election is Oct. 17.
Oct. 29 is the last day to request an absentee ballot application to vote by mail.
On Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, the Registrar’s Office will be open for in-person Saturday voting from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
All precincts will vote on Election Day at the Salem Civic Center.
On the ballot, voters will be asked to select two City Council candidates. Additionally, voters will select from Democrat Jennifer Lewis and Republican Rep. Ben Cline for Virginia’s 6th Congressional District.