Roche qualifies to run for Varnell council seat

Bob Roche

A familiar face qualified on Monday for a run at a seat on the Varnell City Council.

Former council member Bob Roche was the only person to qualify on Monday for a Nov. 3 special election for Seat 1 on the City Council. Qualifying continues Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at City Hall. The qualifying fee is $35. The winner of the special election will fill the unexpired term of Ashlee Godfrey, who resigned from the council on April 30. The term expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

Roche held Seat 5 on the council from 2017 to 2019 after winning a special election in 2017 to fill the unexpired term of Andrea Gordy, who had resigned. Roche was defeated last year by retired businessman Richard Lowe in his bid for reelection.

Roche has a chemical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School. He is the owner of American Yarn and Crimson Cutting.

The special election is the same day as the presidential election. City Council elections are nonpartisan, and council members are elected at large in the city.

In her resignation letter, Godfrey wrote, "After much thought, I have made the difficult decision to resign from my position on the Varnell City Council. I have a lot of other things going on that need my attention during this unusual time."

Godfrey moved out of the city last summer. She told a reporter at the time that she planned to move back into the city as soon as she finished building a new house, which "could take a couple of months." She declined to talk further at that time.

Mayor Tom Dickson said in April that Godfrey told him she would not be able to return to living in the city in a timely manner.

Godfrey was serving her second four-year term on the council.

Those who qualify must have been a resident of Varnell for the preceding six months, and must be registered and qualified to vote in Varnell elections. For more information, call (706) 694-8800.

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