By Alex Bridges
Republican Party supporters in Warren County gather Friday to pick a candidate to run for the commissioner of the revenue post in November.
The GOP chapter holds its mass meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Warren County Government Center, 220 N. Commerce Ave., Front Royal. Those wishing to participate in the voting process are urged to arrive early. Doors to the mass meeting close at 7 p.m., party Chairman Dominic "Don" Repici said Thursday.
Interim Commissioner of the Revenue Sherry T. Sours and Michael D. "Mike" McCool are seeking the party's nomination to run for the constitutional office, Repici said. McCool works for National Media Services in Front Royal.
A mass meeting is one way a political party can nominate candidates to run for public office. Candidates seeking the nomination filed papers by May 23 to indicate he or she endorses the principles of the party and intends to support all the nominees at election time, Repici explained. Virginia does not require a person to declare membership in a particular political party. But the filing documents are aimed more toward those who fail to receive the party's nomination to maintain their support for the candidate who did gain the endorsement, Repici added.
The party chairman advised that those wishing to vote at the mass meeting must be registered in Warren County. Participants can bring their voter registration card as proof. Participants also must agree with the principles of the Republican Party, a requirement that Repici admitted remains hard to enforce.
Repici dispelled rumors that people wishing to participate must pay to vote. The mass meeting is free to the public. The chairman does charge candidates $250 to seek the nomination to cover the cost of the meeting.
Either Sours or McCool could face a challenge by Roy K. Boyles. He is midway through a four-year term as the North River District representative on the School Board and also serves as the president of the Virginia School Boards Association.
Sours and Boyles have filed the required papers indicating their intentions to run, according to information from General Registrar Carol L. Tobin. Boyles is running as an independent candidate for the office.
Sours has worked in the commissioner's office for 34 years, the past nine years as its chief deputy.
Longtime Commissioner of the Revenue John H. Smedley Sr. died unexpectedly late last August midway through a four-year term. The county swore in Sours shortly after Smedley's death.
The timing of Smedley's death made it impossible to hold a special election that November, said county attorney Blair Mitchell. Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp ordered the county to hold a special election Nov. 5, 2013 to fill the remaining time of the unexpired term.
Voters also can choose representatives on the Board of Supervisors and the School Board for the Fork and Happy Creek districts in the regular election Nov. 5. Happy Creek District Supervisor Tony Carter filed his papers with the registrar's office, Tobin said.
Fork District Supervisor Archie A. Fox, also the elected board chairman, had not filed papers as of Thursday afternoon, Tobin noted. School Board seats held by Catherine R. Bower and James S. Wells also are up for election.
Carter and Fox filed nomination papers ahead of the mass meeting, Repici said. Since no one else filed nomination papers by the deadline, Repici said Carter and Fox automatically become the party's candidates to run for those positions. The party had to hold a mass meeting to decide between McCool and Sours.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org