FRONT ROYAL – Attorney Stephen Jerome won a Thursday canvass by 15 votes to become the Warren County Republican Committee’s nominee in the race for circuit court clerk.

Steve Kurtz, the committee’s chairman, said over the phone that Jerome garnered 268 votes, Janice Shanks received 253 and Kristie Atwood received 67.

Jerome, a lawyer with Joseph Silek PC, said over the phone Friday that he is pleased with the results and that he was glad to see so many citizens support him.

“It really makes you want to strive to do the best you can at the job…I’m going to show up, work hard and tell the truth and work hard for the citizens of Warren County,” he said.

Atwood said over the phone that she is glad there was such good participation in the canvass. She said she will drop out of the race and is “throwing my support behind Shanks,” who Atwood believes will still run.

“I believe that Jerome has too many connections...and I think it’s just not a good idea to have him in there,” Atwood said but declined to expand on those connections.

Shanks could not be reached for comment. Kurtz said that if Shanks does indeed run as an independent, then she would be kicked out of the Republican committee and the deadline for her to file as an independent was 5 p.m. Friday.

To vote in a Republican canvass, Kurtz said participants are expected to support Republican nominees in elections regardless of who they vote for in the canvass. He said they are not asked to pledge loyalty before voting in the canvass unless someone who is voting will clearly not support Republican nominees.

For example, Kurtz said Thursday that Taffy Mabe showed up to vote in the canvass. She is married to Walter Mabe, who is running an independent campaign in the race for the Shenandoah district's Board of Supervisors seat against Republican nominee Tom Sayre.

"When Ms. Mabe came in...Tom said 'hey that's Ms. Mabe,' and he went up and asked her if she is going to support the Republican nominee and she said 'no' and I said then don't give her a ballot," Kurtz said.

He added that if Taffy Mabe said she would support the Republican nominees, she would have received a ballot.

"It's not a big deal. She's just not supporting a Republican nominee and you cannot vote in our elections if you're not supporting a Republican nominee," Kurtz said.

He said that was "the only issue that we had...everybody else was allowed to vote" and "nobody else was asked the question."

Other Republican Committee nominees in the upcoming election include Sayre, Delores Oates and Robert Hupman for supervisors; John Bell for commonwealth’s attorney; Jason Poe for sheriff; Jamie Spiker for treasurer; and Sherry Sours for commissioner of revenue.

While constitutional offices must strictly abide by the code of Virginia and are not political positions, Kurtz said the committee nominates candidates because it would rather have those positions filled by people with Republican values.

Kurtz added that the committee will endorse - which is different from nominating - candidates in the School Board election.

– Contact Josh Gully at jgully@nvdaily.com

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