WINCHESTER — The Frederick County Republican Committee will choose its candidate for the Shawnee District seat on the county’s Board of Supervisors on June 27 in a firehouse primary.

Voting will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Millwood Station Banquet Hall at 252 Costello Drive.

The GOP nominee was originally slated to be decided on March 24, but voting was postponed over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Candidates vying for the Republican nomination are firefighter J. Kermit Gaither, Shenandoah University accountant Elaine Holliday and retired congressional staffer David Stegmaier. The winner will face Democratic candidate Richard Kennedy in a Nov. 3 special election. Kennedy is interim CEO of Blue Ridge Hospice and former CEO of Top of Virginia Regional Chamber in Winchester.

Only registered voters living in the Shawnee District will be eligible to vote in the firehouse primary. Participation is not limited to committee members, but the committee will require those who cast ballots to sign a pledge to support the Republican candidate on Election Day.

The Shawnee District is currently represented on an interim basis by Gene Fisher, who was appointed by the Board of Supervisors in December to fill a vacancy created when Shawnee representative Shannon Trout stepped down in November because she was moving out of the area. The winner of the Nov. 3 election will serve the remainder of Trout’s four-year term, which expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

Fisher said when he was appointed that he would not seek election.

Also, Susan Shick has resigned as the committee’s chairwoman, effective June 1. She assumed the role at the end of March, succeeding Tim Stowe.

“There was too much on her plate,” said Allen Sibert, who is temporarily serving as the committee’s vice chairman. “It was just too much, and she knew she was going to be behind, and she just didn’t want to be looked upon badly or have people always hounding her. People sometimes forget this is voluntary. You don’t get paid and all of us have jobs.”

He said the committee will vote to select Shick’s replacement and other committee positions at a committee meeting next week. The date and time have not been finalized.

Shick did not return The Star’s calls for comment.

— Contact Josh Janney at

(3) comments


Vote for Elaine Holliday!!


Why does the local GOP do this? Are local primaries that difficult to organize?


Editor, there’s a typo in the headline. (“choose” not “chose”)

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