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One W.Va. candidate says he's an 'honest crook'

January 28, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Paul Ashbaugh had an interesting approach to his candidacy for Jefferson County Commission.

As part of his preparation for the race, Ashbaugh said he went to The Home Depot store and asked eight people what they thought of politicians.

They all said politicians are crooks or liars, Ashbaugh said.

When Ashbaugh filed papers in the Jefferson County Clerk's Office, he said he wanted his name to appear on the ballot as Paul L. "Honest Crook" Ashbaugh.

Ashbaugh said he wanted his name to appear that way to distinguish himself from other candidates.

Ashbaugh is a local developer who periodically gets involved in the political process, although this is the first time he has run for public office.

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"Anybody who knows me knows I'm a straightforward person," Ashbaugh said Sunday.

Ashbaugh is running as an Independent and said he tossed his hat into the ring because the "county is out of control."

Ashbaugh's unique approach was among the highlights in the candidate filing period, which ended midnight Saturday.

A wide slate of local, state and federal offices are up for grabs in this year's elections.

The filing period also signaled the end to Jefferson County Assessor Ginger Bordier's more than 50-year run in county government.

Bordier, who has been assessor since 1978, said Sunday she had been thinking about hanging it up and made the final decision just before the filing period ended Saturday.

"I had to quit sometime," Bordier said.

Bordier said she started in county government in 1953 when she went to work as a deputy in the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

At that time, there were only several positions in the sheriff's department and one of them was an "office deputy" that handled duties like opening the courts, according to Bordier and former Jefferson County Clerk John Ott.

Bordier has had little opposition over the years, and added she doesn't know why anyone would want the job.

"All you do is make people mad," Bordier said. The assessors office determines property taxes and spiraling taxes have drawn the ire of some taxpayers.

Del. Locke Wysong, D-Jefferson, decided not to run again, saying he cannot afford to spend the large amount of time required for the job and only earn $15,000 a year.

Among those looking to replace Wysong is Tiffany Lawrence, a former Miss West Virginia.

Other highlights included the announcement on Saturday by Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley/Jefferson, that he would not continue his bid for West Virginia's 2nd District congressional seat.

Unger said he did not want to participate in an election process that was broken and soured by the "greed of money and tearing people down."

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