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Mayoral candidates stress backgrounds

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Attendees of a recent debate featuring three candidates for mayor found out a bit more about their backgrounds.

Robert Lee Alston, Kevin Jones and Sandy Roberson, at the event at Benvenue Country Club, were asked what experience they have, business and personal, they felt made them the best candidate for mayor.

Roberson first was asked the question. Roberson, 52, is managing partner of HealthView Capital Partners, which is an investment group engaging in the acquisition of companies.

Roberson also has served as CEO of Community Home Care and Hospice, which was a firm he started. Before that, he owned a certified home health agency in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

“I have spent the entirety of my professional career as an entrepreneur, working for a family firm — and creating businesses and literally thousands of jobs,” Roberson told the gathering. “The connections that I have developed as a result of that expand not only here regionally and locally, but also across the country.”

He said he has access to capital markets via his phone numbers index that he believes he can bring to the table as it relates to negotiations.

“And the experience that I’ve had, both in developing those jobs, sitting on both sides of the development table, I think is in the best benefit to the city of Rocky Mount,” he said. “And those are the services that I would like to provide.”

Jones next was asked the question. Jones, 31, is founder and president of the BAC Scholarship Fund, an educational nonprofit group in Rocky Mount. He also is a policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Jones told the gathering he has nearly a decade’s worth of government experience working at the federal, state and local levels.

“So I know how government works, very intimately,” Jones said.

He also emphasized his nonprofit exclusively serves children in the Nash-Rocky Mount school system to help them with literacy, paying for college and preparing for the workforce.

“And at the end of it all, those contributing factors mean nothing to the fact that I was raised by all of the people in this city,” he said. “And so we need a mayor for all the city.”

He noted he has neighbors who watch NASCAR and neighbors who watch Black Entertainment Television.

“And so I have just a cobble of perspectives, quite frankly, that make me the ideal representative for the entire city, not just sections and parts of it,” he said.

Alston, 52, has been barbering off and on for about 25 years. He also was in the U.S. Navy from 1985-89, having served on the USS La Moure County. Alston worked as a disbursement clerk in accounting and was like a bank teller.

During the gathering, Alston emphasized his relationships with people and the Lord.

Of God, Alston said, “I realize you can’t do anything without him,” and also said all things are possible through him.

“I’m a barber by trade. I used to drive taxicabs, so I pretty much know Rocky Mount,” he said.

The debate was held on Aug. 15 and was sponsored by the local Kiwanis Club and television station WHIG.

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