Everhart suspends run for Delegate seat
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Mark Everhart, a current member of the Shepherdstown Town Council and a candidate for the 67th District House of Delegates seat, announced on Friday that he has suspended his campaign through the primary election now scheduled for June 9.
Everhart will withdraw his candidacy for the general election, the statement said.
Last week, Everhart acknowledged he was arrested in 2012 for allegedly violating a protective order in a domestic violence case. Everhart said in reference to that incident that he was offered a plea deal wherein he would plead not guilty on all counts, be found guilty of two minor counts, and be given a short term of unsupervised probation.
The decision to withdraw from the political race came on the heels of posts made by Progressive Jefferson, a Facebook group alleging that Everhart can be linked to social media accounts on Twitter and Reddit that are defamatory in nature. Screenshots of the alleged accounts can be found on the group’s Facebook page, although the accounts themselves are no longer accessible.
In his prepared statement, Everhart called the allegations “wildly false.”
“This past week has been one of the hardest of my life,” the statement said. “Wildly false accusations about my past have been leveled against me by a hate group of far-left extremists with checkered pasts of their own. Unfortunately, these hateful people have gotten a lot of attention for their accusations and it is sad that people seem willing to give more credence to wild accusations than to multiple years of hard work for the Shepherdstown community.”
The Progressive Jefferson group has called for Everhart’s resignation from the town council, something Everhart said he will not do.
“I will continue to serve in my role as a Town Councilman in Shepherdstown until my term is up on June 30. I am extremely proud of my work on the council and am especially proud that through hard work and always doing what was best for the town I was able to distinguish myself from the majority of my fellow council members, many of whom think that their service stops when the monthly council meeting adjourns,” Everhart’s statement said.
Michael Johnson, a resident of Shepherdstown, has begun an online petition calling for Everhart’s resignation and posts on the Progressive Jefferson page allege that the town is also officially calling for a resignation as well.
Mayor Jim Auxer, in an interview Tuesday morning, squelched those rumors, sharing that the council has not met since March 12 and no petitions have, as yet, been forwarded to the town.
“No one has officially asked for anything,” Auxer said, mentioning that while the council may discuss the issue, there are requirements in the West Virginia Code regarding calling for a council member’s resignation.
“Any act that could require removal would have to have been done while a council person is in office. The topic is moot,” Auxer said, mentioning no one had requested the issue be placed on an upcoming agenda.
The Republican party in Jefferson County has until August to select another candidate to compete against Democratic incumbent John Doyle in the general election in November.