Former Portsmouth official considering mayoral run

John Rowe

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A former city manager in Portsmouth tells 10 On Your Side he is considering a run for mayor in November.

John Rowe, who was ousted by the council in spring 2015 ahead of his planned resignation, spoke to a crowd of more than 500 people at the Scottish Rite Center on Thursday night as guest speaker at the People for Portsmouth meeting. The group is a political action committee that says their goal is to educate voters ahead of the November general election.

“I am flattered that people are encouraging me to do that,” said Rowe, of countless inquiries about his desire to be mayor. “I love this city. This is my hometown. This is where I was raised. I am today what I am today because of the city of Portsmouth.”

Rowe is remaining quiet about his potential mayoral run, but he told 10 On Your Side’s Joe Fisher he’s exploring the possibility.

“When someone comes up and says, ‘Will you run? I want you to run,’ that starts a thought process. Should I? Am I electable? Can I make a difference?,” said Rowe.

The former city manager talked about the perceived lack of transparency in local government and the need for “the people’s business” to be out in the open.

“If you were to take just a poll in here, I think the sense was that there’s not much trust. If there’s not much trust, then yes, local government has failed us.”

The filing deadline for the general election is June 14.

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