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Another ex-campaign staffer is charged in election scheme

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) Authorities have charged a second former congressional campaign staffer with election fraud in a case that clouded the race for Virginia’s 2nd District in 2018.

Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell, who is a special prosecutor overseeing the case in Virginia Beach, confirmed in an email March 17  that Roberta Marciano faces two counts of election fraud.

Marciano worked on the 2018 re-election campaign for freshman Republican Scott Taylor in the Tidewater Virginia district.

Caldwell said that Marciano has hired an attorney and will turn herself in within the next two weeks. He said she will be released on unsecured bond per an agreement.

Taylor campaign staffers were accused of trying to place a third-party “spoiler candidate” on the November 2018 ballot. The strategy involved gathering signatures and was widely viewed as an effort to draw votes away from Democrat Elaine Luria. She ultimately won the seat.

Another former campaign staffer, Lauren Peabody, pleaded guilty earlier this month to woeful neglect of election duties, a misdemeanor. She was given a suspended sentence of 12 months and a $1,000 fine.

Taylor has maintained that he was never involved in any wrongdoing. He is running again for his former congressional seat.

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