Jefferson County is divided into 5 magisterial districts — Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, Kabletown, Middleway & Shepherdstown. The County Clerk is in the process of updating the magisterial district lines to balance the population shifts of the past decade and also align with the recently redrawn legislative district maps (Read more about the new districts for 2022 elections). The County Commission is expected to review and approve the revised magisterial district maps in December.
While the congressional and state elections next November will likely attract a lot of attention, there will be plenty of county and municipal offices on the ballot next year too — these are the local officials who can really affect what happens close to home in Jefferson County.
Much of this work is routine — overseeing staff who provide administration, planning, and public services. Still, over the next several years, the County will face many many complex issues, including a growing demand for housing, conversion of rural land into residential lots, school construction & maintenance, addressing the lingering effects of the pandemic, encouraging economic growth, and updating the County’s comprehensive plan.
Candidate Filing Deadlines In January
All candidates for County Commission or Board of Education must file a Candidate’s Certificate of Announcement with the Jefferson County Clerk. This form must be received in the Clerk’s office between January 10 and January 29, 2022 (the form cannot be filed early). Call the Clerk’s office at 304-728-3215 for filing fees and other requirements.
Jefferson County Commission
The County Commission is responsible for administering the fiscal affairs of the county, which involves assessing and taxing real estate along with personal/business property. The Commission also oversees the use of property within the county through its zoning ordinance and building permits. The day-to-day operation of the county is managed by a professional administrator and numerous specialized staff in multiple departments. The commissioner role is part-time but does require a significant time commitment. There are 5 commissioners, one from each magisterial district, each elected to a six year term.
Running for Commissioner
Voting: countywide for 2 positions; candidates may run with a party endorsement or as independents
Residence requirement: Must live in the designated magisterial district. In 2022, the Commission positions requiring residency in Shepherdstown and Charles Town districts are up for election.
Primary election day: May 10, 2022
General election day: November 8, 2022
Jefferson County Board of Education
Jefferson County Schools provides education services to over 9,000 students from pre-K through 12th grade across 16 schools and is the largest employer in the county. The Board of Education oversees the administration of this system and is responsible for hiring the Superintendent to act as the chief executive officer who in turn manages a central staff, school principals, teachers, and support staff. The role is part-time, but does require a significant time commitment. The Board consists of 5 members, each elected to a 4 year term.
Running for Board of Education
Voting: countywide for 3 positions; candidates run without a party affiliation.
Residence requirement: No more than 2 members of the board may reside in the same magisterial district. The Board of Education currently has 1 member from the Charles Town District (Laurie Ogden), 2 members from Kabletown (Kathryn Skinner & Gary Kable), and 2 members from Shepherdstown (Donna Joy & Mark Osbourn). The terms of Joy and Osborn run until 2024, so for the 2022 election no additional board member may be elected from the Shepherdstown district. [note – the residence eligibility information has been updated to correct incorrect information published in the November print edition.]
General election day for Board of Education: May 10, 2022 (there is no primary election for these positions)By Staff Contributor