Washington County Republican Party nominates Jones-Rolla

Published Aug 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm (Updated Aug 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm)

With vacancies on governing bodies in Peters, North and South Franklin townships, as well as in West Brownsville, the Washington County Republican Party met Aug. 21, to nominate one candidate in Peters Township.

No nominations were selected for the three remaining communities.

Meghan Jones-Rolla was unanimously chosen by the 11-member executive committee to have her name placed on the ballot in Peters Township in the November election in an effort to fill the vacancy created by the unexpected July death of longtime Councilman Robert Atkison.

Jones-Rolla, a practicing attorney and a former television reporter, ran unsuccessfully two years ago against Atkison and current Councilman Robert Lewis.

William Merrell, a Peters Township resident and chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, said Jones-Rolla represents the younger professionals in the township, which Merrell feels are under represented in local government.

Merrell is a member of the Peters Township School Board. His wife, Monica Merrell, is a member of township council representing District B. Atkison was an at-large council member, as is Lewis.

Earlier this month, the remaining six township council members voted on who should fill Atkison’s position until January of 2014 with Michael McCaig being chosen by four of the members. McCaig served previously on council from 2008-09, but was defeated by current Councilman Gary Steigel Jr.

Initially, eight men submitted interest in filling the vacancy, with one asking for his name to be withdrawn; another was not interviewed by council. Jones-Rolla did not apply to fill the vacancy.

Monica Merrell and Steigel voted against McCaig and nominated another candidate Frank Kosir Jr.

McCaig was sworn in by District Judge James Ellis Aug. 19, immediately before a public hearing.

While the Republican Party has selected Jones-Rolla for the Peters Council vacancy, the Washington County Democratic Party has not announced a selection.

Washington County Director of Elections, Larry Spahr, said the Democrats have requested information about filling the vacancy in Peters, as well as North and South Franklin townships, and in West Brownsville. Both parties have until Sept. 16 to announced endorsed candidates.

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