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Prince William Republicans cancel nominating conventions for constitutional offices

By the April 7th filing deadline, only one candidate had filed for the Republican nominations for the offices of Sheriff, and Commonwealth Attorney which serve Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

Therefore, incumbent Sheriff Glen Hill, and Matt Lowery, candidate for Commonwealth Attorney, will be the Republican candidates for these offices. No Republican filed for the position of Clerk of County.

Glen Hill is seeking re-election to a sixth term as Sheriff, while Matt Lowery is running for Commonwealth Attorney, to head an office in which he formerly worked.

The heads of the GOP in the three jurisdictions chose the convention method of nomination and posted notice of a May 20 convention at Osbourn High School.  Persons interested in running for the offices had until Friday, April 7 at 5 p.m. to file as candidates.  The official call of the convention provided that if there were not more than one candidate seeking a position the convention could be cancelled as to that office and the sole candidates declared as nominees.

Chairs Sharon Ashurst of the City of Manassas, Julie Huff of the City of Manassas Park and Denny Daugherty of Prince William County cancelled the convention April 7, 2023 and declared Hill and Lowery their nominees.

Hill joined the City of Manassas Police Department after being discharged from the Army and administered the county jail before his first election as Sheriff in 2003.  He faces the same Democratic opponent as he defeated in 2019, Joshua King.  Ashurst praised Hill for his skilled management of his office and expressed confidence he will be re-elected November 7.

Lowery seeks to become the first Republican to hold the chief prosecutor position in the county.  He has worked as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney in Prince William, Spotsylvania and Fairfax counties.  He faces Amy Ashworth, a Democrat elected in 2019 to succeed Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert who held the post for 52 years. 

Daugherty said that the current crime rate in significant part is a reflection of the policies of Ashworth, who prosecutes in a much smaller proportion of police arrests than did Ebert.  “When you make it known that a large array of criminal offenses will not be punished, you will get a lot more crime” said Daugherty, pointing to the annual crime report just published by county Chief of Police Newsham.  Huff said rising crime was also a serious concern in Manassas Park.

Similarly, Republican mass meetings to nominate county supervisor in several districts were cancelled when only one candidate filed by Thursday.  Incumbent Bob Weir of Gainesville, and newcomers Karla Justice of Occoquan and Jeannie LaCroix of Woodbridge, became the party’s standard bearers April 6.  Two additional supervisor candidates. incumbent Yesli Vega in Coles and newcomer Tom Gordy in Brentsville, became GOP nominees Thursday when they were the only ones to file to run in a primary.

Daugherty praised the overall high quality of the 2023 candidates the GOP is fielding.  He said Republicans were competing for 7 of the 8 positions on the Board of Supervisors, all of the Senate districts in the county, Sheriff, Commonwealth Attorney and in two House of Delegate races. He added that county Republicans will meet April 24 to endorse school board candidates.

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