Monday, May 26, 2003

Only in SW VA? Former Chapter 7 debtor running for county treasurer

Reading today's Kingsport paper, I see that one of the candidates for nomination to the office of country treasurer in Scott County is a fellow whom I believe filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 last September. Does it violate the Bankruptcy Code to vote against someone because of his bankruptcy?

The office of treasurer along with commissioner of revenue, commonwealth's attorney, clerk of court, and sheriff are the constitutional offices, which represent the counties but are elected separately and financed (at least in rural areas) mostly by the Commonwealth. I've always understood that when the Virginia Constitution was redone, finishing in 1971, an effort was made to reduce the number of constitutional offices, but the effort was only partly successful. A problem with these elections is that when a new sheriff is elected, for example, he can replace everybody in the office, but often the only real changes are at the top because the new sheriff needs qualified and experienced people.

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