Pam Cobler has a long resume, but one item she intends to add to the list is that of representative of the Reed Creek District on the Henry County Board of Supervisors.
Cobler filed the necessary signatures to be on the ballot and announced on Thursday that, with the endorsement of current Reed Creek Supervisor Tommy Slaughter, she would be seeking public office for the first time.
“With the endorsement of Tommy Slaughter and Tommy as my mentor, I have been following issues with which the County has been dealing and I’m learning from the many years of the institutional knowledge of Tommy as he retires,” Cobler posted on her Facebook page. “My family and I have lived in the Reed Creek District for many, many years. I have been attending the supervisor’s meetings and I’ve been involved in community events and digging in.”
Cobler, 58, became disabled due to a motorcycle crash that resulted in a spinal injury. She turned the tragedy into an opportunity and became Ms. Wheelchair Virginia in 2004 and then served as the organization’s executive director.
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“I have a doctorate in educational administration and have worked at Patrick & Henry Community College, taught at Campbell Court Elementary and worked for the Virginia Department of Education,” Cobler said during an interview with the Bulletin. “I have business and government experience and have worked a lot in the healthcare industry.”
Cobler said her family has strong ties to the community.
“My daddy lived here all of his life, and I love the region,” said Cobler. “My roots are here.”
Cobler said she is impressed with the recent economic accomplishments of Henry County and wants to build on those successes.
“I will expand on that, and education is very important as well as public safety, emergency management and broadband expansion in rural areas.”
Cobler said she intends to give the expansion of solar energy the attention it is due.
“For people all overall it has become a hot topic and creating a lot of controversy,” Cobler said. “I’ve been listening and I’ve been watching. It’s all about who’s getting the payout and how much land it takes.”
Even though the discussion and debate of Martinsville reverting from a city to a town is over, Cobler said the City and the County need to build a good working relationship and she is a person that can help accomplish that.
“I think one of my strengths I bring to the table is a different view, and one of my gifts is teamwork,” said Cobler. “I’m very comfortable with these things. I have been involved with both the city and the county schools and I have an appreciation for what the school systems do separately. It’s all about best practices.”
Cobler described herself as a “very strong conservative woman with a lot of experience who wants to expand on growth that’s already happened.”
“I’ve lived in the Reed Creek District all my life and I have a voice to bring to the table that might be a little different, but we all have the same goals,” she said. “I would ask the registered voters to vote for me and for those that are not registered, to become registered and vote for me as well.”
Cobler said she supported early voting and encourages anyone who can, to vote early.
Said Cobler: “I’ve worked with government on the local and state level and I’ve been involved with legislation. That’s why I’m doing this. I believe I’m ready and it’s time to get involved.”