Gop complains to election commission about tabb asking for independent voters – spirit of jefferson home west la college real estate

CHARLES TOWN — the county’s republican executive committee has asked the west virginia secretary of state’s office to look into whether jefferson county commissioner jane tabb broke any campaign laws when she signed onto an effort to get democrats to switch their party affiliation to vote for her in this spring’s primary.

County commissioner peter onoszko said monday that the jefferson county republican executive committee voted 9-0 to ask the secretary of state’s elections commission to investigate whether tabb’s actions pose a “potential violation of fair campaign practices.”

Onoszko said the executive committee personally “confronted” tabb, a lifelong republican finishing her second six-year term on the JCC, during the group’s regular meeting on saturday.

Tabb, who attended the regular monthly executive committee gathering at the clarion in harpers ferry, said was “completely blindsided” by the committee’s action.County commissioner

Tabb on feb. 25 shared a facebook post from commissioner patsy noland, who wrote that she had changed her party affiliation from democrat to independent in order to vote for tabb over kearneysville resident jack hefestay in the republican primary.

In january, hefestay won the public endorsement of jefferson county commission president josh compton. Hefestay, who has lived in jefferson county for about 12 years after retiring from a career in the aerospace industry, is an appointed member of the county’s planning commission and the historic landmarks commission.

Hefestay also is one of 10 voting members on the executive committee, representing the middleway magisterial district. Committee chairman keith lowry said hefestay did not vote on saturday’s committee motion.Harpers ferry

Responding to an email from the spirit, onoszko wrote: “before the vote, tabb said that she was engaged in such practice and when asked if she would cease and desist she said that she would have to do some research. She also stated that in her opinion this was the only way she thought she could win.”

“we took a vote to submit it to the state elections commission,” lowry said. He said tabb would be provided with the state elections commission’s response.

The secretary of state’s office “deemed that such a situation was within the purview of the state elections commission as it was a potential violation of fair campaign practices,” onoszko wrote in his email.

In her feb. 25 facebook post, tabb added: “please support me in the primary election. Democrats can register as independents by april 17 at the county clerk’s office or online at the WV secretary of state website.County commissioner independents, request a republican ballot when you vote. Republicans, vote for me!”

In an email on monday, tabb told the spirit she appealed to independent voters because they make up about a third of the electorate in jefferson county.

As of tuesday, there were 38,879 registered voters in jefferson county, with 13,284 registered as nonpartisan, or independent. Registered democrats numbered 12,889, while the number of registered republicans totaled 12,267. A total of 336 voters are registered with the libertarian party, while the number of mountain party members is 103.

Reached monday, an official at the secretary of state’s office said the office could not comment on open investigations, but said there was nothing in state statute that prohibited coordinated efforts to get voters to switch their party affiliations.Harpers ferry

“some folks might be offended by it, but it’s not a whole lot different than getting folks to vote for the first time,” said mike queen, the deputy chief of staff to secretary of state mac warner. “anyone can file one way or another to vote for or against a candidate. Nothing prevents a coordinated effort.

Queen said the only stipulation is that voters must request to change their party affiliation by an april 17 deadline in order to be registered as an independent for the may primary.

Tabb, a lifelong republican originally from maryland, lives with her husband in leetown. She moved to jefferson county after finishing college and marrying into a local farm family. She raised her four children here and worked on the family farm and other family businesses before getting into politics.County commissioner

Tabb, who said she had recently resumed attending executive committee meetings, acknowledges she has fallen out of favor with some of the republican leaders in jefferson county, but attributes that to their embrace of the tea party’s zealous anti-tax platform.

“I look at how I have dealt with the budget and I see that I am very conservative,” tabb said. “the tea party platform is just ‘no new taxes.’ but we are seeing declining gambling revenue and there are more calls for ambulance service. It is a very easy answer to say ‘no new taxes,’ but saying that does not solve all the problems.”

In a post on his facebook campaign page, “peter onoszko for jefferson county commissioner,” onoszko called tabb’s actions to get democrats to change their party affiliations “ethically questionable” and notes that it could affect all of the “GOP office on the ballot.”

jefferson county

Onoszko himself is on the may 8 ballot and has two opponents in the republican primary – gary W. Cogle and former jefferson county commissioner greg lance. Onoszko won his seat by appointment in 2016 following the resignation of republican eric bell.

In an email, onoszko said he used the term “ethically questionable” because tabb’s activity has been questioned, even though “no allegation has been substantiated.”

Noland, twice elected to the county commission as a democrat, said last month that she did not want to see tabb fall to hefestay in the primary. She said she believes he would vote in lockstep with onoszko and the JCC’s other newest members, compton and caleb hudson.

“I have seen the direction this commission has taken since this new voting bloc has taken over and they have left the county in a terrible budget situation,” said noland, along with tabb, opposed the majority’s move to cut the ambulance fee by $5 last year and to turn over the county’s sewer utility to charles town.Jefferson county

The jefferson county republican executive committee typically meets on the second saturday of each month, according to its website, jcwvgop.Org.

The website says the meetings begin at 9:30 a.M. At the clarion in harpers ferry and that “all registered republicans are encouraged to attend.”

County executive committees are authorized by state code and function as the apparatus of a political party on the local level — to raise funds and nominate candidates.

Committees are composed of two members, a man and a woman, from each of the county’s five magisterial districts. Members are selected to four-year terms.

According to information on the county’s republican party the executive committee is made up of charles town representatives keith lowry and melodie williams, harpers ferry representatives anne dungan and elliot simon, peter stevens and jill upson representing kabletown, hefestay and regina smith of middleway and shepherdstown representatives jean jacobs and robert smith.Harpers ferry

Competing against the winner of the cogle-onoszko primary race will be either ralph lorenzetti, the former county prosecutor, or kevin carden, the elected recorder in harpers ferry.