David A. Bowers

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David A. Bowers
Mayor of Roanoke, Virginia
In office
July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2016
Preceded byNelson Harris
Succeeded bySherman Lea, Sr.
In office
July 1, 1992 – June 30, 2000
Preceded byNoel C. Taylor
Succeeded byRalph K. Smith
Personal details
David Allen Bowers

(1952-05-11) May 11, 1952 (age 66)
Cortland, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
Independent (2008)
Margarita Cubas (m. 2013)
ResidenceRoanoke, Virginia
Alma materBelmont Abbey College (B.A.)
Loyola University (J.D.)
Hollins University (M.A.)

David Allen Bowers (born May 11, 1952) is a politician who served as mayor of Roanoke, Virginia for a first term from 1992 to 2000 and then for a second term from 2008 to 2016.


He previously served as mayor of the city from 1992 to 2000. A Democrat, he was elected mayor after serving on the city council. Bowers is a lawyer who has continued to serve in private practice both during and after his term as mayor.

He was also the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for Virginia's 6th District congressional seat in 1998, losing to incumbent Republican Bob Goodlatte.[2]

Bowers attempted a comeback in the May 2, 2006, election for city council, but he finished in fifth place out of ten candidates in the race for three seats.[3][4] Bowers ran for mayor of Roanoke as an Independent against the incumbent, Democrat Nelson Harris, Independent George A. Sgouros, and Independent Anita Powell, in the May 2008 municipal election. Bowers won the election with 53% of the vote.[4] In May 2012 Bowers gained a consecutive term as mayor by defeating Republican Mark Lucas 52% percent to 48%.[5]


In November 2015, Bowers spoke out against the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Roanoke,[6] citing as positive precedent the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, 2/3 of whom were American citizens, an event for which the American government formally apologized and provided reparations as part of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.[7] Bowers's comment prompted a social media backlash and calls for his resignation.[8]

Preceded by
Noel C. Taylor
Roanoke, Virginia Mayor
Succeeded by
Ralph K. Smith
Preceded by
Nelson Harris
Roanoke, Virginia Mayor
Succeeded by
Sherman Lea, Sr.


  1. ^ Kaplan, David (December 24, 2013). "Roanoke's Mayor elopes". WDBJ. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  2. ^ Election Results by Locality & Precinct - November 3, 1998 General Election - U.S. House Of Representatives, Commonwealth Of Virginia - State Board Of Elections.
  3. ^ Commonwealth of Virginia: May 2nd, 2006 - Local Election, www.Virginiainteractive.org.
  4. ^ a b Adams, Mason (December 7, 2011). "David Bowers announces he'll run again for Roanoke mayor". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  5. ^ Adams, Mason (May 2, 2012). "Bowers edges out Lucas to keep Roanoke mayorship; council incumbents re-elected". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  6. ^ Chittum, Matt (November 18, 2015). "Roanoke Mayor David Bowers: No Syrian refugees to Roanoke Valley until security assured". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  7. ^ Weiner, Rachel (18 November 2015). "Roanoke Mayor David Bowers: Reject refugees like U.S. interned Japanese". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ "Mayor David Bowers responds to calls for his resignation". The Roanoke Times.