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Endorsements: Danville City Council Race (2014)

SouthsideCentral has listened and talked to all of the candidates running in the 2014 Danville City Council race and it’s now time for our endorsements.

Incumbents Gary Miller, Alonzo Jones and John Gilstrap are running along with challengers James Buckner, Dawn Witter, Joyce Glaise and Thomas Motley. There are four seats available. Let’s get the endorsements started.

John Gilstrap: I’ve been highly impressed with John Gilstrap over the last our years because of his knowledge of the city’s operations and his strong attitude to confront anything that he disagrees with. He knew how the city budgeting process worked before he was elected and he’s been a strong fiscal conservative now that he’s responsible for passing the budget. Gilstrap has shown himself to be an excellent councilman and he strongly deserves re-election to a second term.

SouthsideCentral gives our highest endorsement to John Gilstrap and strongly urges you to vote for him.

Alonzo Jones: I said before that if Danville ever has a late-night talk show, Alonzo Jones should be the host. He’s got an amazing outgoing personality and has developed a strong knowledge of how council works. His six years of School Board experience gives him an insight into the operation of the school system and he doesn’t hesitate to weigh in on both elected bodies’ issues with high credibility. Jones is even more amazing to Danville’s youth population as almost all look up to him as an example of what you can accomplish with hard work and public service. Jones won his rookie election by a comfortable margin and rightfully so. Danville voters should reward Alonzo Jones with another well-deserved four-year term.

SouthsideCentral gives our highest endorsement to Alonzo Jones and strongly urges you to vote for him.

Gary Miller: There are times when I completely disagree with Gary Miller on his state and national political views, but that has absolutely no relevance with it comes to local issues. Gary Miller has always has the best preparation on all issues that come before council because he does his homework. Miller is highly approachable by all citizens and is very visible during Danville’s public events. Once Miller latches on to one of his pet issues, he will tenaciously hold on to it. He won’t hesitate to tell you his viewpoint on anything he believes in. Miller’s a successful cardiologist in Danville and keeps the small business owners in mind with all of his positions. He’s got a lot of council experience and like the other incumbents, Gary Miller is just as deserving of another four-year term.

SouthsideCentral gives our highest endorsement to Gary Miller and strongly urges you to vote for him.



With three strong incumbents all deserving re-election and getting endorsements, SouthsideCentral has a dilemma when it comes to the challengers. With only one open seat, it’s a tough decision to make on who get’s the fourth one. Two of the four challengers have put themselves ahead of the others and both of them would be an asset to the council. In fairness to both for their good performances during the campaign season, I can’t choose one over the other when it comes to advising you how to vote. We’ve got a dual endorsement for the 4th and final seat.

James Buckner: James Buckner brings a fusion of youth and business owner together for his perspective on his issues. He’s got an excellent personality and an excellent knowledge base to add to council. His “common man” attitude is quite refreshing when compared to the stereotypical “vote for me” politician. Buckner has strongly impressed me with his willingness to listen to the voters and his willingness to entertain everybody’s point of view even if it differs from his. With all of that going for him, Danville would be well served if James Buckner is elected.

SouthsideCentral endorses James Buckner and encourages you to vote for him.

Dawn Witter: Dawn Witter brings her fusion of youth and strong issues-based philosophy together for her perspective on the issues. She’s quiet and soft-spoken at times but when she gets actively engaged on a good discussion of what’s best for Danville, I’m mesmerized by her quiet forcefulness. Witter’s strength of issues-based thinking was unfairly criticized by some at the start of this campaign. I truly hope that Danville’s voters give her a fair and objective consideration because I have no doubt that she would make a very good member of council.

SouthsideCentral endorses Dawn Witter and encourages you to vote for her.



Now let’s look at the two candidates who didn’t get our endorsements.

Joyce Glaise: I like Joyce Glaise and I think I would like what she’d do on council. I can’t endorse her this time because her campaign was all over the place. It’s been 12 years since she served on council and things are drastically different in Danville. Unfortunately, Glaise started out like those twelve years didn’t exist and never got her message out coherently in the early and middle parts of the campaign. I want to see Joyce Glaise run for council again in 2016 as a brand-new candidate and start off the campaign with words and positions that mean something instead of vagueness. I wouldn’t be upset if Joyce Glaise gets elected to council, but I can’t endorse her in this election.

Thomas Motley: I like Thomas Motley and I had high hopes for his campaign this time after 2 defeats. With a high number of candidates, this could have been the perfect time for him to recruit new support to go with his existing base and have a decent chance of winning a seat. It just didn’t happen. His campaign sputtered from the starting gate and yet again, he never branched out into other issues besides his core “electric rates” mantra. Things continued to go downhill as he alluded to his campaign failures being caused by others, and then he went off-the-rails with his “power cost adjustments” remarks against the city manager. I wanted 2014 to be a time for Motley to shine. He didn’t. This year, Motley is only slightly above SouthsideCentral’s “Not Qualified” line and we can’t recommend a vote for him.



Here’s the recap of our endorsements. SouthsideCentral highly endorses all three incumbents. John Gilstrap, Alonzo Jones & Gary Miller are in the top tier of candidates because of their experience. I will be voting for all three of these candidates.

We also endorse two of the challengers (James Buckner & Dawn Witter) equally. Both of them will make good councilmembers and Danville won’t go wrong with either of them. I haven’t decided which one of these candidates will get my last vote and because of that, I’m endorsing both based on their qualifications. I’m asking for the voters to make up their own mind on which of these two would be the best for you.

4 comments to Endorsements: Danville City Council Race (2014)

  • Tommy

    You got one of them right for sure…Buckner all the way!!!!

  • Joan Holley-Stowe

    I have watched James Buckner grow up. He has become a very respectful and caring
    young man . He has the heart of wanting to do what is best for Danville. Our city would do well to vote for James Buckner .I highly endorse him !

  • Floyd Yeyes

    What could you possibly like about Joyce Glaise? A lamp post is more qualified and frankly more useful.

  • Jerry

    Got to say, this has been an odd Council campaign. In most Council campaigns, there’s either an issue or a candidate that captures a little “juice.” Vogler in 2012, Tomer in 2006, Glaise in 1988….those were candidates that really attracted some new voters and momentum to the process. Or you’ve had various issues through the years….utility rates, the meals tax in 92, the one-waying of Main Street, Chuck Church, etc.

    There just hasn’t been a candidate or issue that’s really galvanized folks this year. Obviously, unless something unexpected happens, the incumbents will all go back in…..I haven’t a clue about the 4th slot.

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