The Bulletin

Danville responds to Corey Stewart’s claims about the city

By: - July 24, 2018 9:50 am

One of Danville’s top elected officials and the Danville Register & Bee took issue with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart’s description of the city during Saturday’s debate.

Stewart described Danville as being ground zero for Democrats’ failed economic policies. The city, according to Stewart, is full of boarded-up storefronts, riddled with residents addicted to opioids and families riven by “skyrocketing” suicide rates.

And, according to Stewart and opponent Tim Kaine, the incumbent Democrat, Danville is part of Southwest Virginia.

Danville, as the Register & Bee’s editorial points out, is actually in Southside Virginia, the area south of the James River and between Hampton Roads to the east and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west.

The city’s economy historically relied on textiles and tobacco, but both of those industries have rapidly declined or collapsed.

“What Stewart and the Breitbart writer don’t acknowledge, because it doesn’t fit their predetermined narrative, is that this city and its residents are far from dead,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote. “Rather, we are re-examining ourselves, tallying our strengths and weaknesses and determining where we fit in in the 21st-century economy.”

Danville’s Vice Mayor Lee Vogler — at 31 the youngest person in the city’s history to hold that position — tweeted that he was disappointed the city became a talking point during the debate. Stewart’s description of the city seemed largely based on a July 12 news story from Breitbart, the newspaper and Vogler wrote.

We’d be happy to show you, or anyone, the great work that is being done here by many ppl,” Vogler tweeted to Stewart. “We’re a great city. Not a talking point.”

He extended the same invitation to the author of the Breitbart story, Chadwick Moore.

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Mechelle Hankerson
Mechelle Hankerson

Mechelle, born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in print journalism. She covered the General Assembly for the university’s Capital News Service and was among 12 student journalists in swing states selected by the Washington Post to cover the 2012 presidential election. For the past five years, she has covered local government, crime, housing, infrastructure and other issues at the Raleigh News & Observer and The Virginian-Pilot, where she most recently covered the state’s biggest city, Virginia Beach. Mechelle was with the Virginia Mercury until January 3rd, 2019.