GOP picks George to run for circuit court clerk

David George
Sarona Irvin

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County Republicans picked political newcomer David George as their candidate to run for circuit court clerk in November.

Delegates at the Shenandoah County Republican Committee convention held Friday at Central High School cast 135.9 weighted votes for George compared to 127.1 for longtime Deputy Circuit Court Clerk Sarona Irvin.

Longtime Clerk Denise B. Estep decided to not run for another term. George and Irvin stepped up to seek the party’s nomination.

George thanked the delegates for participating and noted the closeness of the vote.

Committee Vice Chairman Craig Orndorff led the proceedings. After the convention, Orndorff explained that Irvin had received more raw votes than George – 137 to 133. However, each vote was weighted based on the precinct’s Republican voting strength, Orndorff said. The vice chairman then will certify the votes.

While 379 people filed to serve as delegates at the convention, only 269 attended and participated in the nominating event process. Orndorff noted that the convention attendance was the largest since 2012, when the committee had several contested races.

Supervisors Steve Baker, John R. “Dick” Neese, David Ferguson and former supervisor Dennis Morris were among the delegates who voted.

Each candidate had approximately 10 minutes to make their case as to why the delegates should put him or her on the ballot.

George has a background in finance. George spoke first and spent his time criticizing the performance of the circuit court clerk’s office, citing several years of financial audits that show internal management problems. George said he, if elected, would work to rectify the problems. George said he had a plan to improve the office but did not elaborate.

Irvin initially focused on her experience of more than 20 years in the circuit court. But Irvin then responded to George’s accusations by clarifying some of the problems broached in the audits. Irvin pointed out that the clerk’s office experienced the problems because it was short-staffed. Irvin outlined some ways she would improve the office management. Irvin summed up her comments by noting that she was the only candidate who has performed the various duties of a court clerk.

The following people were not challenged for the party’s nomination to run in the Nov. 3 election and thus were nominated by acclimation:

• Sheriff Timothy Carter;

• Commissioner of the Revenue Kathy Black;

• Chad Logan, chairman of the Republican Committee, for commonwealth’s attorney;

• District 2 Supervisor Steve Baker;

• District 3 Supervisor David Ferguson;

• S. John Massoud, for the District 6 seat on the Board of Supervisors.

The committee allowed the candidates not challenged for the various offices a chance to speak.

Orndorff asked if anyone wanted to nominate a candidate to run for treasurer’s office. No nominations were made so the party will not have a candidate to challenge longtime Treasurer Cindy George for the constitutional office. Cindy George is the presumptive Democratic Party candidate for the post.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or

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