Arlington Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan ruled Friday that Prince William County Republican incumbents Corey Stewart (Board Chairman At-Large), Maureen Caddigan (Potomac Supervisor), Marty Nohe (Coles Supervisor) and Glen Hill (Sheriff) are not entitled to their choice of a primary for their method of nomination because County Republican Committee Chairman Bill Card did not file the requisite paperwork with the State Board of Elections in a timely manner per § 24.2-509 of the Code of Virginia.
I have to disagree with my friend Steve Albertson over at The Bull Elephant who argued that Sheridan got the decision wrong. In fact, Sheridan got the decision exactly right and here is why:
§ 24.2-516 Each chairman shall file timely written notice with the Board whether or not a primary has been adopted and identify each office for which a primary has been adopted. The requirement to notify the Board of the adoption of a direct primary shall be satisfied when the Board receives by the deadline (i) written notice from the appropriate party chairman or (ii) a copy of the written notice from an incumbent officeholder to his party chairman of the incumbent’s selection, pursuant to § 24.2-509, of the primary as the method of nomination.
That’s right, per the emphasized section the authority to notify the Board of Elections is NOT vested solely with the party chairman, but the incumbent officeholder also has the authority to notify the Board per the process above. These incumbents are equally at fault for not sending their notifications to the State Board of Elections and now they are attempting to sue their way into a primary.
Sorry, you had two bites at the apple — you could have kept on the party chairman to ensure that the paperwork was filed timely and you could have filed a copy of your written notification to the party chairman of your choice of a primary with the State Board of Elections yourself. You did neither, now you must live with those consequences.