VB Councilman Aaron Rouse announces he’ll run for mayor

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Aaron Rouse announced Thursday that he plans to run to be Virginia Beach’s next mayor.

Aaron Rouse, 36, who currently serves on council in an at-large seat, will challenge incumbent Mayor Bobby Dyer in November.

Rouse, who is still in his first term, is a Seatack native who attended Virginia Tech and played for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. He started a nonprofit organization to help students in need and serves as a mentor to young athletes.

“We need a leader,” Rouse said when asked why he decided to run. “I think the council has a lot of ideas. But we have to start getting things done.”

Rouse has expressed frustration and often voted against deferring controversial issues. He has often been on the losing end of split votes such as one that would have regulated food trucks and one that banned e-scooters at the Oceanfront.

“I hope to inspire hope for the city,” Rouse said. “We need bold leadership, build our city staff back up (following the mass shooting) and inspire the younger generation to stay and work here.”

Here is Rouse’s full statement sent via press release Thursday:

“There has been chronic avoidance of tough, time sensitive issues like flooding and sea level rise, investing in infrastructure and education, and developing and retaining our workforce and military transitioning into the private sector. We have the talent, ability, and natural regional attributes to be the premiere destination to start a business, raise a family, and entertain our guests. Moving our city to the next step will require bold leadership, someone who will roll up their sleeves, work hard and build a consensus on council and throughout our city; someone who will make the tough decisions to move our city forward.”

“We are at a pivotal point in Virginia Beach, and now more than ever, leadership matters.”

“It is with great humility and excitement that I announce my candidacy to be the next mayor of Virginia Beach. Together, we are going to build a city of progress. A city with vision. A city of opportunity for each and every resident – from Pungo to Bayside, Salem to Seatack, and everywhere in between. Together, we are going to build a movement to take our city to the next level. ”

– Aaron Rouse

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