Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Democratic Candidate for the 11th District Challenges Ware’s Credentials

Martin Jeffrey explains complaint.

Martin Jeffrey explains complaint.

Martin Jeffrey is not budging from his insistence on having carte blanche access to incumbent delegate Onzlee Ware’s filing documents.  Jeffrey held a press conference Tuesday in front of City Hall. Jeffrey is a candidate for the democratic nomination in the 11th district.  

The filing documents include petition signatures that are in the possession of the Chair of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee, Tony Reed. Jeffrey believes there are irregularities. The 10-15 minutes that Jeffrey was allowed to view Ware’s filing at Books-A-Million 5 hours after the filing deadline gives him reason to suspect the accuracy of Ware’s documents.

“There is a smoking gun,” said Jeffrey. He refused to say what the  ammunition is if disclosed that could blast a hole in Ware’s place on the June 9th ballot. Jeffrey did say that by having “physical access of the copies of the petitions” to be able to validate them properly would remove the suspicion. “Did Mr. Ware file his papers on time,” asked Jeffrey. “If Mr. Ware did not file properly … he [Ware] is disqualified and I am the democratic nominee,” said Jeffrey.

The meeting at Books-A-Million with Chair of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee Tony Reed turned confrontational with campaign manager, Mark Powell. Jeffrey claims he did not have enough time to review Ware’s filing saying, “it took 6 hours for his campaign manager to review the accuracy of their own documents” before filing them.

Jeffrey said he is “not going away until the issue is resolved.” Jeffrey dismissed allogations that his demand for the documents is a distraction from the issues. Powell chimed in saying they are continuing the campaign as planned meeting with community groups and chambers of commerce.

Jeffrey said he learned that when running for office in Virginia’s House or Senate under a party label the candidate is certified by the respecitve  party’s committee chair. The State Board of Elections only receives a few of the documents. Only candidates at the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General level are validated at the SBE.

Jeffrey asserts that this leaves open a chance for the Roanoke City Committee to be lax in validating a candidate whom they favor. He believes that since office holders are openly supporting incumbent Ware that puts them in a position that may let accuracy slide.

Jeffrey was not satisfied with State Party Chair, “Dickie” Cranwell’s lack of response and plans to take it to the Democratic National Committee Chair, Governor Tim Kaine.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, State Politics

Tags: , , ,

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