PORTSMOUTH, Va. — In Tuesday night’s 2020 election, city councilman Shannon Glover won a six-way race for Portsmouth mayor.
Glover took 35 percent of the votes reported. The next most popular candidate was Danny Meeks with 29 percent of the vote.
The job of mayor is a big role to take on, after the city has seen a lot of political drama this year. Glover said he is ready to take on the task of putting the pieces back together in Portsmouth.
“I’m looking forward to getting in the new role,” he said.
Glover plans to lead the city in a new direction, focusing first on communication. He wants to work to create more relationships in the city and bring people together to solve problems.
“So that we can use our talents and our skills collaboratively, so we can move the city forward,” he explained.
Glover will also get to know two new council members. Voters chose De’Andre Barnes and Mark Whitaker. Glover said residents could count on him to keep drama out of council chambers.
“Purpose, progress, and getting things done is where I’m keeping my focus, and I hope my colleagues will put their focus there as well,” he said.
His first big task is hiring the next city manager after Lydia Pettis Patton resigned earlier this year.
Glover said he wants to hire someone who can help him improve relationships, including internally. He wants city employees to feel appreciated and know they matter. He also wants business owners to have a seat at the table.
"I’d like a visionary," he said. "Someone who brings their talents and skills here to the city of Portsmouth to give us ideas in some different areas. How are we going to improve our city, make it more attractive, and grow business in our city?”
Glover said he has big plans for Portsmouth and is ready to get to work. He would like to transform the downtown waterfront area for people to enjoy.
“Open up the waterfront to people, business to opportunity and move the city offices to another location where it can still be a thriving organization and also relocate our jail to somewhere it’s appropriate too,” Glover said.
When asked about the casino in Portsmouth, Glover jokingly asked, “When do I get to go?”
More than 66% of voters in Portsmouth said they want a casino in Portsmouth. Glover said he’s going to do his best to make it happen.
“The beauty of that will be that we will create some good jobs in the city. We are going to create additional tax revenue to help us with our schools, and our infrastructure and other city needs. Most importantly we are diversifying our economy."
His first day on the job is January 1, 2021.