Two candidates are vying for mayor in Roanoke: Scooter Gierisch and Sean Turner.

Gierisch is the incumbent for the position.

Candidates were asked to keep responses under 50 words, answer the questions provided and avoid attacking opponents. Answers may have been edited to comply with word guidelines or for style and clarity.

Community Impact is only asking candidates in contested May 4 elections to answer questionnaires.

Scooter Gierisch

Experience: Lifelong Roanoke resident, 35 years in public service; City Council since 1995, mayor from 2005.

Occupation: Small business owner (family business in Roanoke since 1966)

Contact Information: 817-491-9134

Why are you running for office?

My campaign centers on continuing our city's progress with proven leadership and open communication. In my 35 years, including as mayor since 2005, I've worked closely with our community for real results. I'm dedicated to further enhancing our quality of life and ensuring our city's bright future.

What are the biggest challenges facing the city?

Our city's rapid growth, while promising, challenges us to preserve our unique identity and improve infrastructure. Addressing this, we focus on building economic resilience through strategic planning and robust community engagement. These collaborative efforts are vital for ensuring long-term stability and fostering a prosperous future for all residents.

How do you plan to address these issues?

To address our city's challenges, we must advance strategic long-term initiatives while maintaining low taxes. We'll focus on infrastructure improvements like new roads and sidewalks, and boost economic development to continue attracting new businesses and jobs. Additionally, completing our parks and trail systems will enhance Roanoke's beloved hometown feel.

What would your top priorities be if you were re-elected?

If re-elected, my priorities include sustaining Roanoke's growth, enhancing amenities and maintaining low taxes, which we've achieved for 25 years. Recent contributions to quality of life—like new parks, a new police department, and expanded community facilities—highlight our focus. I'll continue promoting economic development and investing in essential services.

Sean Turner

Experience: Business leader, veteran, innovative visionary, culture builder, connector and proactive problem solver

Occupation: President/CEO of Buffer Insurance

Contact Information: 214-238-4252

Why are you running for office?

I believe Roanoke deserves a leader who will fight to keep our community special. We need a leader who will stand for the values of this community, rather than stay silent—someone who will support our existing small businesses and attract new innovative opportunities to support small business.

What are the biggest challenges facing the city?

We need to tackle the sharp, unchecked rise in property taxes. We need to put a stop to high-density projects. We need to bring new investment opportunities to support our small businesses. If we don’t make a course-correction, Roanoke is going to lose its small-town charm.

How do you plan to address these issues?

Crucial city services like fire, police, and our beloved parks will remain priorities, while I fight to provide tax relief to our residents and small businesses. I will also focus on promoting our community to ensure all residents and businesses have the opportunity to prosper in Roanoke.

What would your top priorities be if you are elected?

I will restore focus on the values and character that make Roanoke unique. I intend to attract new business opportunities, including replacing the unfulfilled promise of the Peabody hotel with a unique and boutique hotel and event venue. I will put a stop to any further multi-family projects.