Candidate for School Board Will Compete As Write-In After Petition Case is Dropped

By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thomas A. "Tag" Greason, whose petitions to run for the Broad Run seat on the Loudoun County School Board were rejected by the county electoral board, announced Tuesday that he will pursue a write-in campaign.

His attorney had said last week that Greason would drop out of the race, after he was disqualified July 3 for errors in petitions filed with the electoral board to put his name on the Nov. 6 ballot. Although Greason submitted more than the required 125 signatures, he signed and had notarized some petitions that he did not circulate himself.

Greason's opponent, incumbent Bob Ohneiser, who had notified the registrar and the Loudoun commonwealth's attorney about the errors, said in an interview last week that he intended to pursue criminal charges if Greason did not drop out. The penalty for falsely signing the affidavit is a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison.

But a letter from Commonwealth's Attorney James E. Plowman (R) dated July 16 and attached to Greason's announcement said Plowman's office would not pursue any action against him. Plowman wrote that after a "thorough discussion with the registrar," he determined that Greason's errors were "due to nothing more than an honest misunderstanding on his part as well as his unfamiliarity with the process."

In announcing his write-in bid, Greason wrote that he has been "encouraged" by local leaders to run and is pursuing the endorsement of the Loudoun Education Association, a teachers union.

"I now feel free to exercise my constitutional right to run for office, without fear of future threat from my opponent, and chase my dream of public service to the citizens of the Broad Run District," he wrote.

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