There are a lot of seats to be filled in the 2024 elections.
Our state and county governments rely on citizens willing to step up and run for office. Some positions require special qualifications — such as judges, justices, and prosecuting attorneys. Other positions are typically held by individuals with specific training — such as magistrates, sheriffs, and the attorney general. However, most offices require no specific credentials or experience.
There are two overlapping election cycles in 2024 — one for offices filled in the May election and another for offices that have primary voting in the May election and a final vote in the November general election. The first group (elections decided in May) includes the local school board, magistrates, judges, and justices. The second group (which has both a partisan primary and general election ballot in 2024) includes county commissioners, assessor, sheriff, prosecuting attorney, surveyor, state delegate, state senator, and the various state officers.
The window for filing as a candidate for school board begins on January 8, 2024 and closes at midnight on January 27 2024. The window for filing to run for county commissioner, state delegate, and state senator is the same, unless you choose to run as an independent or write-in candidate. Any candidates who plan to raise money for their campaigns before the official filing window must file pre-candidancy registration forms.
The Jefferson County Board of Education has 5 members, elected at-large across the entire county. Two seats are up for election in May of 2024. Candidates for school board must be 18 years of age (at the time of taking office) and have a high school diploma (or a GED). The board of education acts in an advisory and review capacity to the superintendent and professional staff and training is provided — so no particular skills or experience is necessary other than an interest in supporting the mission of public education.
Pre-Candidate Filings — As of December 1, no school board candidates have filed pre-candididacy forms. Incumbent Donna Joy has indicated to The Observer that she will be running again; incumbent Mark Osborn has not yet shared his decision about running.
The county commission is similar to the board of education in that it acts as a group to oversee the county administrator and professional staff, but the range of functions and issues is broader. Candidates for county commission must be 18 years of age (at the time of taking office). The county is divided into 5 magisterial districts. Each commissioner is elected at-large across the entire county but must reside in the specific district associated with the “seat.” Normally just the “Middleway District” seat would be on the ballot in 2024, but the “Charles Town District” seat is currently filled with an appointed commissioner so this seat will also be on the ballot in 2024 to fill the remainder of the term with an elected commissioner.
Pre-Candidate Filings — As of December 1, in the Middleway district, two Republican candidates have pre-filed: Michael T. Mood and Sean D. Feigo. In the Charles Town district, Republican candidate Jack Hefestay, Jr. has pre-filed.
In Jefferson County, the offices of Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff, Assessor, and Surveyor will be on the ballot in 2024. As of December 1, the only pre-filed candidate for any of these races is Thomas Hansen Jr., the incumbent Sheriff.
State Senate & House of Delegates
The Jeffersion County seat in State Senate district 16 will be on the ballot in 2024. As of December 1, two candidates have pre-filed: Republican candidate Patricia Rucker (the incumbent) and Republican candidate Paul Espinosa (currently a State Delegate).
Jefferson County is represented by four Delegate Seats, designated as districts 97, 98, 99 and 100. As of December 1, three candidates have pre-filed for District 97: Republican candidates Chris Anders andn Judith Brush and Democratic candidate Lucia Valentine (John Hardy, the incumbent Delegate for District 97 is not running for reelection). In District 98, Republican candidate Barbara Fuller is the only pre-filed candidate. In District 99, three Republican candidates have pre-filed: Wayne Clark (the incumbent), Daphne Andrews, and Michael Allers. In District 100, Republican candidate William Ridenour is the only pre-filed candidate.
The West Virginia Secretary of State’s website (SOS.WV.gov) offers official resource for both candidates and voters.
The “2024 Running For Office Guide” published by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office describes the requirements for each office, the legal obligations of setting up and running a campaign and filing financial reports, and other important information for all candidates. In can be downloaded as a PDF file (link). The “Certificate of Announcement” form is also available on the Secretary of State’s website as a downloadable PDF file (link).Staff Contributor