The political campaign season for state and local races is upon us and signs for the various candidates sprout like weeds along roadsides throughout Floyd County and the rest of Southwestern Virginia.
The most interesting local race shapes up between Republican Case Clinger and independent Mike Maslaney for the Courthouse District seat on the Board of Supervisors. Democrat Jerry Boothe is leaving at the end of his term and the only other supervisor running for re-election, Republican Fred Gerald of Indian Valley, is running unopposed.
Clinger, owner of Pizza Inn and Subway, is the local in the race while Maslaney, a relative newcomer married to a local, served briefly as Floyd’s Town Manager. Maslaney also serves on the county Economic Development Authority, which is embroiled in a controversy over trying to sell 51.5 acres of land in the Commerce Park to Data Knight 365, a new Ohio firm whose participants have been involved with problems with state and federal law enforcement authorities.
Most local political observers see the race as a close one. While Boothe served as a Democrat, his conservative voting record aligned more with the GOP on the Republican-dominated board of supervisors and his district could swing either way on election day.
Both candidates say the board needs fresh blood and a new perspective on the many issues that threaten the financially-strapped government.