Thirty-eight candidates have filed to run for 16 public offices in Jefferson County standing for election during this year’s primary and general elections. The primary election, which will decide who serves in three school board seats and three magistrate positions, is set for Tuesday, May 12. Other races, including a state senate seat and three House of Delegate positions, will be decided during the Nov. 3 general election.
First-term incumbent Republican incumbent Patricia Rucker of Harpers Ferry filed to seek re-election. Pete Dougherty of Charles Town, who as Jefferson County’s current sheriff by law can’t stand for re-election for a third consecutive term, will challenge her in the general election as a Democrat for the District 16 state Senate seat.
House of Delegates
With no primary races developing for three House of Delegate seats, voters will decide in the general election who will represent Jefferson County in those contests. For a District 65 delegate seat, first-term Democrat Sammi Brown of Ranson will run for re-election against Wayne Clark, a Republican and former Charles Town City Council member. For a District 66 seat, three-term incumbent Republican Paul Espinosa of Summit Point is running for re-election against Democrat Storme Frame, a first-time candidate. For a District 67 seat, Democrat John Doyle of Shepherdstown is being challenged by Republican Mark Everhart, a Shepherdstown councilman running his first campaign for state office.
Voters will decide to serves in two seats with six-year terms on the Jefferson County Commission.
For a Harpers Ferry district seat, Republicans Tricia Jackson of Harpers Ferry, a human resources consultant and a first-time Republican candidate, and Gary Cogle of Harpers Ferry, a legislative administrator for the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office, will compete in the primary. The winner of the Republican nomination in the primary will face Democrat incumbent Ralph Lorenzetti, a former county prosecuting attorney who is running for re-election to the county commission.
For a Kabletown district seat, two candidates will face off during the general election. Steve Stolipher, a businessman, developer and farmer outside Charles Town, is running as a Republican first-time candidate to the commission, and Lanae Johnson of Charles Town, a retired personnel manager and Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, is campaigning as a Democrat and first-time candidate.
Eleven candidates are vying for three of the five Jefferson County Board of Education positions. The top three vote-getters will win one of the nonpartisan school board positions.
Incumbents Gary Kable of Kabletown, a Jefferson County businessman; Mark Osbourn of Shepherdstown, a past principal of C.W. Shipley Elementary School in Harpers Ferry; and Wendy Whitehair-Lochner, a former Jefferson County teacher from Shepherdstown appointed to the school board in October, are running as candidates.
Businesswoman Barbara Fuller of Middleway and Charles Town-area resident Regina Kerrigan, who was educated in Jefferson County schools and who is a former local business owner with two children in the county’s school system, who have declared themselves as candidates.
Two Shepherdstown-area residents are running for a school board seat: Donna Joy, a former special education teacher and university professor; and David Morreale.
Four Harpers Ferry-area residents are also competing for a school board seat: Daniel Swisher, who ran twice as a Republican candidate for the House of Delegates; Erin Bajada, a bed and breakfast owner near Harpers Ferry who has experience teaching children with autism; photographer Amanda Godlove, a mother of two children in Jefferson County Schools; and Dan Hournebuckle.
A four-year term for prosecuting attorney is up for election. First-term Republican incumbent Matt Harvey of Shepherdstown is running for re-election and faces no challenger.
Three magistrate court judge positions will be decided during the primary. Voters will select one candidate for each judgeship. The nonpartisan positions carry four-year terms. Vicki D’Angelo of Charles Town, a longtime assistant magistrate who was appointed to her current position in 2018, is running unopposed for a magistrate position.
Three people are running for a second magistrate position: Denesia Chicchirichi of Charles Town, who has worked 16 years as a bail bondsman in Berkeley County; Kristen Vogel of Charles Town, an Army veteran with a criminal justice degree who works as an administrative assistant the Ranson Police Department; and Carmela Cesare of Shepherdstown, a former prosecuting and defense attorney.
Three people are competing for a third magistrate position: Arthena Roper of Charles Town, a former school system administrator who was elected to the school board in 2018 who stepped down from the school board in September to serve an appointment to an unexpired magistrate term; Osmund A. Anderson of Charles Town, a retired Army sergeant; and Holly Silveous of Kearneysville, a kindergarten teacher and business owner, a former Jefferson County Magistrate Court clerk and a former legal assistant.
An election is taking place for a four-year term as county assessor, a partisan position that oversees the office that determines the value of property to be taxed. Incumbent Angela Banks, a Democrat, will compete against David Tabb of Harpers Ferry, a Mountain Party candidate for the commission seat in 2018 and a longstanding critic of county property assessment operations and decisions.
Four people are running for Jefferson County sheriff, the county’s top policing position that also oversees the tax office as county treasurer.
Republicans Tom Hansen of Kearneysville, a retired lieutenant with the county Sheriff’s Office, and Steve Harris of Shannondale, a retired Maryland police officer, will compete in the primary to advance to the general election contest. Democrat Mike Chapman of Rippon, a 10-year reserve deputy sheriff and an information technology business professional, and John King of Charles Town, a retired special agent with the U.S. Capitol Police who is running as an Independent candidate, will compete for sheriff in the general election.
This nonpartisan, non-salaried position serves a four-year term as Jefferson County’s representative on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Resources Conservation Service board for the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, which oversees several conservation programs and activities. Danny Lutz of Wheatland has filed to run for re-election to the post and has no challenger.
Republican Roger Harris of Harpers Ferry, a professional land surveyor, is pursuing for the non-salaried, partisan position established by the West Virginia Constitution. He has no challenger.