BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Rob Rappold, who has served as Mayor of Beckley since 2016, said on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, that he does not plan to seek re-election to the office.
Rappold is the city’s 37th Mayor, with some comparing his tenure to that of the late Mayor, Emmett Pugh, who is the namesake of city hall.
The Mayor and his wife, First Lady Barbara Rappold, had told 59News in 2023 that they were considering whether or not Rappold would seek another term as Mayor.
Rappold said he was torn between spending more time with his children and grandchildren and serving again as Mayor, while the first lady said she wanted the Mayor to spend more time with her and his family.
Rappold waited until the filing deadline approached before announcing his decision.
Mayor Rappold served on Beckley Common Council and as City Treasurer, prior to being elected to the mayor’s seat, and won each election in his career as a public servant. He supported and initiated measures to construct of the city’s first police headquarters and a third fire station, both multi-million dollar facilities.
In other moves, Rappold successfully pushed for an amendment to the city’s non-discrimination policy to include LGBTQ+ people in 2018. He also helped facilitate the purchase of the former Black Knight Country Club from Gov. Jim Justice and oversaw a transformation into a popular restaurant and municipal park.
Most recently, he pushed for the city to hire a manager and to strengthen the role of Council, urging support for an ordinance to change the city’s form of government from that of a strong mayor.
When West Virginia University-Institute of Technology agreed to move to a vacant campus in city limits, Rappold forged relationships with University personnel to fully integrate the WVU-Tech campus into city life.
Rappold did not offer a reason for his decision when making his announcement on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, but stated, “I’m not running for re-election.”