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Special election scheduled for 2013

Action comes after death of former commissioner of revenue in August

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

A special election for commissioner of revenue in Warren County has been scheduled for Nov. 5, 2013 under an order signed Tuesday by Circuit Judge L. Hupp.

County supervisors approved the paperwork for Hupp's consideration earlier in the day. Their action came after the death of former Commissioner of Revenue John H. Smedley Jr. on Aug. 24 at Winchester Medical Center.

County Attorney Blair D. Mitchell said Sherry T. Sours, chief deputy in the commissioner's office, was sworn in as Smedley's replacement on Aug. 24 and will continue to hold the position for the period before the election.

The actions by Hupp and the board of supervisors Tuesday follow state law, which calls on boards of supervisors to petition the circuit court to order a special election when vacancies arise like the one created by Smedley's death.

Sours has worked in the commissioner of revenue's office for 34 years and held the post of chief deputy for the last nine, Mitchell said. She assumed the commissioner's position under a state law requiring the chief deputy to fill the vacancy until the special election, he said.

Mitchell said Hupp and county officials decided to wait more than a year to hold a special election because there isn't enough time for candidates to circulate and file papers to gain ballot access in this year's November election.

An earlier date in 2013 would have required the county to spend an extra $16,000, the cost of conducting a stand alone special election, Mitchell said. Cold winter weather and hot summers that tend to dampen political activity were also factors in the decision to hold the election in November, Mitchell said.

Smedley, a Republican, held the commissioner of revenue position since January 1988 and was less than a year into his seventh term at the time of his death.

Mitchell estimated the next round of real estate reassessment in the county is two or three years away.

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