Candidates file for county GOP nods; Helsley absent

Shenandoah County Republicans put their names in the hat to seek the party’s support on Friday.

Candidates seeking the nomination of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee to run for local offices in the election Nov. 3 had until 5 p.m. Friday to file their necessary documents and fees.

District 6 Supervisor Conrad Helsley’s name was notably absent.

Helsley, a Republican, had not filed his paperwork by the deadline, committee Vice Chairman Craig Orndorff said Friday evening.

“As far as we know, you know, he certainly is not seeking our nomination,” Orndorff said. “It’s certainly doesn’t preclude anything on his end. All I can really say is that he’s not our nominee.”

Instead, Strasburg resident S. John Massoud filed to seek the party’s nomination to run for the District 6 seat.

Helsley pointed out Friday that he still has until June 9 to decide whether or not to run for re-election, when all candidates must file with the registrar’s office to appear on the ballot.

“Mr. Massoud said he was getting me out of the party anyway last year when they did it, so that was fine,” Helsley said. “That’s what he feels comfortable with.

“I’ll make my decision between now and June 9,” Helsley added. “But obviously I won’t seek the Republican nomination.”

Republicans will choose their slate of candidates for three board seats and for all constitutional offices at a convention May 8. The committee must hold a convention because two people filed for the party’s nomination to run for the clerk of the circuit court position. David George, of Woodstock, and Sarona Irvin filed to seek the nomination, Orndorff said.

Individuals who were the sole filers for a race are automatically nominated.

Commissioner of the Revenue Kathy Black and Sheriff Timothy C. Carter were the only people to file for the party’s nomination and seek re-election in those positions.

Committee Chairman Chad Logan filed to seek the nomination to run for commonwealth’s attorney. Logan works as an assistant prosecutor for the Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. Logan would challenge Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley for the Shenandoah County office. Wiseley hasn’t formally announced her intentions but has said she plans to run for re-election.

For the Board of Supervisors, Steven Baker and David Ferguson filed to seek the nomination to run for Districts 2 and 3, respectively. Michael “Mike” Wakeman announced his intentions earlier this year to run as an independent for the District 2 seat.

The committee charged a fee of $100 to file for supervisors, $900 for sheriff and $1,000 for the clerk of the circuit court and commonwealth’s attorney. The committee based its fee structure on the requirements set at the state level to participate in a primary, where the filing fee is based on the expected annual salary of the position. In Shenandoah County’s case, the committee set the fees at roughly 1 percent of the position’s salary, Orndorff explained.

The lack of much competition for the party’s nominations isn’t new, Orndorff said. Neither Black nor Carter have faced challenges from within the party since first elected in the late 1990s and early 2000s, respectively, Orndorff noted. However, the committee did expect some competition for the circuit court clerk’s seat given Denise Estep had held the office since the early 1990s.

“This is the first time it’s been open in basically a generation,” Orndorff said. “So, you know, we figured there would certainly be some interest there.”

Interest in seeking the nod to run for supervisor on the party ticket can vary from year to year. In 2013, Marsha Shruntz and Cindy Bailey challenged Dennis Morris and Steven Shaffer for the party nomination to run for seats on the Board of Supervisors. Bailey and Shruntz lost the nomination but ran as independent candidates and won election to the board in November 2013.

The committee’s plan is to hold a nominating convention. People wishing to serve as delegates at the convention can file ahead of time through 6 p.m. April 10. If filings do not exceed the total allotment of delegates for a particular precinct, then those individuals will be delegates. If the number of filings does exceed that allotment, then the committee will hold mass meetings in those precincts on April 23 to elect delegates. Visit http://www.shenandoahgop.com/ for more information.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com