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ELECTION PREVIEW: Mayor of Richlands, VA

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RICHLANDS, Va (WVVA) - Voters in Richlands, Va have a lot at stake this year when they head to the polls. Their town has faced a lot of hardships in 2020, including two serious flooding events.

Current Mayor Paul Crawford is running against former Mayor Jan White, in a rematch of the 2018 race. WVVA asked both to list what they feel are the top issues that Richlands faces. Both listed flooding and each shared their plan to address it.

"We have just formed a committee made up of local residents that are going to attempt to do a flood mitigation... I know it will take inland fisheries and different departments of the government that will have to help us with that."

Paul Crawford, Candidate for Richlands Mayor

White also shared her plan to address the flooding issues in Richlands.

"My idea at helping with that issue would be to form a point a task force and contact all the appropriate agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers and any other specialist that might know something."

Jan White, Candidate for Richlands Mayor

The other issues the former mayor hopes to address include growing jobs and the town revenue.

"I think developing a budget that would not negatively impact the citizens, by not raising their taxes. I would ask each of the departments to trim the fat out of their budget."

Jan White, Candidate for Richlands Mayor

Crawford also listed other areas of concern that he would like to address if he wins re-election. The issues include tearing down dilapidated homes and the building up of the Richlands revenue stream.

"We will have to increase taxes, we will just have to do it. We can not offer the services that people expect from us without having the money to do it with."

Paul Crawford, Candidate for Richlands Mayor

Both candidates have experience running this town as mayor, but WVVA asked both what differentiates them from their opponent.

"I am very passionate about our town, I would like to inspire our citizens to become stakeholders through operations of committees to come in and give us ideas... I would have an open door policy. I would listen to (citizens) views and their needs and invite them to join us in some of the decision making process."

Jan White, Candidate for Richlands Mayor

Paul Crawford also told WVVA what separates him from his opponent.

"I feel like I control the council meetings and a lot of things that happen in town more aggressively than (White) did. I am retired... The mayor thing does not take a whole lot of time, but when you are called on, it is good to be able to go. I am able to do that and I can do it quite often."

Paul Crawford, Candidate for Richlands Mayor

Voters go to the polls to decide on November 3rd.

Click here to see more election previews.

Brandon Lawson

Weekend Meteorologist

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