Front Royal resident H. Bruce Rappaport is making his second bid for a Town Council seat.
Rappaport and Amber Faith Morris square off in a Nov. 2 special election. Early voting began Friday at the voter registrar's office.
The winner will fill a vacancy created when former Councilman Christopher W. Holloway was elected mayor last November. Former Councilman Jacob L. Meza, who did not run for re-election last year, was appointed to the vacant seat and resigned earlier this summer.
Rappaport, 65, ran in last year’s general election for a Town Council seat but did not receive enough votes.
“Well, first of all, I don’t take rejection well but if you don’t at first succeed, try, try again, right?” Rappaport said of his second bid. “One of the main reasons is I’ve been watching politics here for obviously a number of years.
“I’ve been vocal at council meetings and a lot of things went down,” Rappaport said. “The community seems rather badly divided to me and I would like to take an opportunity to try to bring the town and the county back together again or at least start the liaison (committee) with that.”
Rappaport went on to say: “I believe I have the leadership skills to help, you know, focus on helping the town watch the budgets and control the spending, low taxes.”
Rappaport added that he wants to see improvements to the town’s infrastructure and that Front Royal needs “smart growth.” Rappaport said he hopes the town can tighten up the Comprehensive Plan to control growth. The town needs to address its lack of affordable housing as well as options for older residents, Rappaport said.
If elected, Rappaport said he wants to ensure the town takes care of its police department. He also wants to be involved in the town’s enforcement of its regulations concerning blighted and dilapidated buildings. Rappaport also raised concerns about the town’s ability to provide water in the future with use increasing.
“I believe I have a broad enough horizon to look at these things and help be a part of the cure instead of the problem,” Rappaport said. “I don’t want to see any redundant waste at taxpayers’ expense.
“I’m alluding to the idea of having two economic development authorities,” Rappaport said. “What we need to do is have a meeting of the minds between the two and have one economic development authority.”
Rappaport grew up in Front Royal and graduated from Warren County High School. Rappaport attended Virginia Tech and Shenandoah University and he holds a bachelor of science degree in management. Rappaport said he has about 30 years of experience working in electronics manufacturing, much of that time planning and scheduling projects. For the last decade, Rappaport has worked for a Fredericksburg company that specializes in manufacturing long-range sniper rifles.
Rappaport is single and does not have children. Rappaport traces his family’s history in Front Royal back more than 100 years, when a relative opened a business on Main Street in 1911. Rappaport said he worked at a family business on the weekends for about 25 years while employed at other companies.