The candidate, the name change, and the domestic violence arrest

Jason Shepherd, a Republican candidate for a state House seat in Marietta, called this morning to give advance warning.

He was about to get dumped on by Georgia Democrats, he said. And with the exception of Tom DeLay, no one has ever produced a flattering mug shot.

Sure enough, the package arrived shortly afternoon. Ten years ago, as Jason Goldfarb, Jason Shepherd was arrested on a charge of domestic violence by his live-in fiancée.

A 2002 AJC file photo showing Jason Shepherd as a volunteer for U.S. Rep. John Linder in his contest against fellow Republican Bob Barr.

A 2002 AJC file photo showing Jason Shepherd -- using that name -- as a volunteer for U.S. Rep. John Linder in his contest against fellow Republican Bob Barr.

The charges were later dropped, but paperwork lives forever. (The state Democratic party does not dispute the lack of prosecution.)

Shepherd, now 34, faces Democratic incumbent Terry Johnson in the Nov. 2 general election.

First, about the arrest as Mr. Goldfarb. Said the GOP candidate:

”My parents got divorced in ’88. My father basically abandoned us. That was when I was in middle school. [My mother] changed her last name back to her maiden name, Shepherd. And re-enrolled me in high school as Jason Shepherd, just to avoid confusion.”

He graduated from high school and the University of Georgia as Jason Shepherd.

But he didn’t formally change his name until 2003, when he was attempting to import his German fiancée – they are now married — and didn’t want to leave any loose ends for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to trip over.

There was no attempt, he said, to elude an arrest record – just an effort to cut every tie with his father.

Now, as for the eight hours he spent in lock-up in 2000. Shepherd was living with another young lady in an apartment at the time. He says the relationship was rocky – and that she was the abusive partner.

Said Shepherd, who was working for political strategist Mark Rountree and Landmark Communications at the time:

”A week prior to that, she’d hit me and beat up on me a little bit. I said, we’re done with this. If you touch me again, I’m going to call the police.

“About a week later, we got into another argument, and she went after me again and I pushed her off. And I said, ‘This is it. This relationship is over. You need to pack your stuff and move out. I gave her til the end of the week.”

She moved out one night, and sent a Cobb County sheriff’s deputy with a warrant — accusing Shepherd of placing his hands around her neck. A hearing was held three days later, at which the girlfriend sought a temporary protective order.

Under oath, she spoke of Shepherd “trying to strangle me with his hands and then using a rope to try to kill me. He said he would try to poison me or make it look like a suicide, and has been thinking about killing for a while.”

Said Shepherd: “That is absolutely not true. I never said or did anything like that…. She makes things up, to make herself into a victim.”

A six-month protection order against Shepherd was issued. The girlfriend ignored court orders to appear subsequent hearings, Shepherd said, and the charges were dropped.

Shepherd said the incident hasn’t been a secret. He informed Scott Johnson, chairman of the Cobb GOP, about the arrest when he was recruited as a candidate.

The House Republican leadership was informed, he said, as was the State Bar of Georgia – when Shepherd applied for membership.

“I have been, on a small scale, open and honest about it,” Shepherd said. In a release issued late this afternoon, he added this:

“I voluntarily went through a diversion program before it even went to court, in an effort of good faith. However, the charges were totally dropped because there was no truth to them.”

Shepherd said the only other blemish on his record is a speeding ticket he was issued in upstate New York in 2004.

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70 comments Add your comment


September 27th, 2010
4:49 pm

Poor Baby

September 27th, 2010
5:00 pm

He should have called the cops if a woman was beating him up all the time.

A real man’s man.

Just Nasty & Mean

September 27th, 2010
5:10 pm

Ever since OJ’s episode, the woman gets the full benefit of the doubt. Unless the female is blithering drunk or abusive to the cops—they guy is going to jail—the truth and facts be damned.

If the woman gets on a power trip, all she has to do is slap herself on the face and call the cops. The cops will view, what they feel,. is abuse–and haul the guy out. Facts and truth are irrelevant.

If this kind of behavior is out-of-character for the man, it is simply a case of he said/she said–but the guy ALWAYS pays the price.

It happens more than you think.

As far as I am concerned, this accusation never happened. .

The Centrist

September 27th, 2010
5:17 pm

Let me get this straight. He was the abusee in the relationship, but when he broke it off the abusor got a warrant and testified under oath. HE got a six-month protective order placed against him and the only reason the charges were dropped is because she failed to appear? Considering the GOP’s track record for fielding candidates, even if he had been charged wouldn’t have made much difference.

[...] candidate in less than a week. Only this time, there are domestic violence charges involved: The candidate, the name change, and the domestic violence arrest Ten years ago, as Jason Goldfarb, Jason Shepherd was arrested on a charge of domestic violence by [...]


September 27th, 2010
5:40 pm

What was he doing in upstate New York? Sounds fishy…


September 27th, 2010
5:44 pm

…Because a state rep is sooooooooo important *rolls eyes*


September 27th, 2010
5:44 pm

…Because a state rep is sooooooooo important *rolls eyes*


September 27th, 2010
5:53 pm

I’m a Democrat and a senior citizen. Heck, I don’t even like Republicans. One in my Sunday School class told everyone you can’t be a Christian unless you are a Republican. I could not vote for Mr. Sheperd, but he certainly doesn’t seem to be hiding anything. I’ve worked closely with the public all my life, and I’ve seen plenty of women who are mean, vicious, and full of revenge.

But I do have one question. Why was he living with this person? They weren’t married, and in my world, you don’t “shack up”. We reap what we sow.

Jerry Mandering

September 27th, 2010
5:54 pm

Marie could take Roy, too.

If All You Can Find

September 27th, 2010
6:07 pm

On a candidate is some dismissed charges from a decade ago, then he’s a winner & you MUST be scared!

When Hell Freezes Over

September 27th, 2010
6:23 pm

“The charges were later dropped, but paperwork lives forever. (The state Democratic party does not dispute the lack of prosecution.)”

If the story checked out as it was related, why was it necessary to print it in the paper? Was it printed simply because Jason Shepherd is a Republican? Either the Democrats are Christ-like or very little time and effort is spent looking at those candidates. I submit that the bias tavoring the Democrat candidates is obvious. You need not even mention the Democrat candidate by name if you print something negatively impacting the Republican opposition.

Great job!

Rafe Hollister

September 27th, 2010
7:45 pm

When Hell Freezes: I only looked at this to check to see if I was correct in my instant analysis that this guy was a Republican. As soon as I saw the headline, i knew the guy had to be a conservative. I don’t believe the guy, but don’t think this is newsworthy.

Democrats Hit Jason Shepherd — Peach Pundit

September 27th, 2010
8:01 pm

[...] Democrats have dug up some dirt on State House Candidate (and one time PP Front Page Poster) Jason Shepherd: Under oath, she spoke [...]

Republican = Man

September 27th, 2010
8:32 pm

I hope this woman eventually found someone that was man enough, that cared enough about her, to teach her to keep her mouth shut.

Republican = Man

September 27th, 2010
8:34 pm

Ok – I was just kidding


September 27th, 2010
9:27 pm

As someone who changed to his mother’s maiden name in high school, and had to deal with a psycho live-in ex, and has actually met Mr. Shepherd, I think the whole thing is a lot of desperate hooey.

G Cancryn

September 27th, 2010
9:41 pm

Hey Mike. Why don’t you introduce him to your daughter?

Lady Thinker

September 27th, 2010
10:17 pm

Jason, I believe you, and I believe in you. You have my number, and I am always available if you need to talk. Anytime 24/7.

The Centrist

September 27th, 2010
10:57 pm

If Shepard plans to vote with the State party that has gotten us into a $3.5 BILLION annual budget deficit, I could care less if he is an sexual abusor or an abusee.


September 27th, 2010
11:06 pm

I believe having a 6 month domestic violence order imposed against you means you no longer have your gun rights and you could face visa/travel issues when traveling to other countries.

Jason Shepherd - not really

September 27th, 2010
11:08 pm

Voters: Please pray for me. I am a Republican, but understand we have weird habits. We practice witchcraft (O’Donnell), solicit sex in airport bathrooms (Craig), lie about our financial insolvency (Deal), have affairs (Sanford), try to commit suicide after we are caught in affairs (Richardson). Come on people, all I did was choke and threaten to kill a woman. I never killed anyone (damn cheap Wal-Mart rope). Look, the bottom line is, unless you want to be called a Socialist, you are going to have to put up with me smacking a few hoes from time to time to keep’em in line. Keep your pimp hand strong brothers!

j daley

September 27th, 2010
11:15 pm

My ex did the same thing to me and then to her next husband…….it is always blamed on the man whether it is true or not……and the police always believe the woman. I never touched her and I dont think her next patsy did either


September 27th, 2010
11:24 pm

The only crime Jason committed was working for Mark Rountree.

Jason Shepherd - not really

September 27th, 2010
11:27 pm

Jason, I know you are reading this. If there is one thing I have learned covering politics in my career is that, when it comes to women, you can screw them, but you can’t beat them. Your life is going to change over the next 48 hours. Welcome and good bye to politics. I am sorry your aspirations for a political career are going to amount to you getting 15 minutes of shame, not fame.

Bad Deal

September 27th, 2010
11:34 pm

My sister and I had to DEAL with some deadbeats once, after the HE was arrested for beating the SHE. After we got to know the SHE a little better, we decided that HE didn’t beat the SHE NEARLY enough, and WE wanted a go at the fat fraud.


September 27th, 2010
11:46 pm

Mr. Shepherd’s ex-girlfriend is “likely” (gee, what are the chances?) going to hold a press conference tomorrow (with her lawyer(s)) and she, I understand, is pissed. Can you blame her. He tries to kill her, and he trashes her for not accepting his brutality. I hear a ticking clock winding down. It is Jason Shepherd’s political career…tick….tick…….tick…………..


September 27th, 2010
11:47 pm

This was going to end up on the political blogs no matter what. At least by covering it here, Jason Shepherd got to tell his side of the story.


September 27th, 2010
11:48 pm

Bishop Eddie planted this story to take the heat off hisself.

Roybama Barnes

September 27th, 2010
11:50 pm

Why did Roy Barnes try to thwart an investigation of the most notorious pedophile in U.S. history?

“But the sheriff said that when he approached the GBI, the FBI and, eventually, then-Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes for help, he found little in the way of support. As the investigation grew, Sills said “The hardest thing I had to deal with were the politicians who didn’t want to believe what was going on in this case. … Political correctness and playing the race card, you don’t know how powerful that is.”

“Former U.S. Attorney, Max Wood successfully secured a guilty verdict against York on over 100 counts of child molestation — some of the children were as young as four years old. During that time, Max Wood received lots of death threats from the cult members who believed York was some sort of god. Our neighborhood got real safe with all the police cars passing through.”


September 28th, 2010
12:04 am

All of these posts supporting Mr. Shepherd are disturbing. Since when is it OK to beat/choke a woman? I guess Republicans think “the ends justify the means”. His abuse is actually pretty consistent with Republican doctrine…inflict your will upon those that are weaker/dumber than you and lie about it. Fear is a powerful tool. The message is clear, if they can’t convince you through lies, they will convince you through force.


September 28th, 2010
12:17 am

Hey Jason…I know about the drinking…the violence… your house of cards is coming down. She was just the tip of the iceberg. Everything is going to come out; everything……..


September 28th, 2010
12:21 am

Wow. So the strategy the national Dems employed is now the state and local strategy as well. The new Democratic Party motto “We have nothing else to run on so we dig up 10 year old dirt on the other side”. Truly pathetic. No plan, no success, no agenda. Just what they can scrounge up digging on people’s pasts. Just look at all of those close races around the country. It’s all about the problems of the other side. Nothing about how they’re putting people back to work, improving the economy, bringing troops home, improving education, etc. America, do you see this? They’re so scared they cannot even run on their “achievements”.

THIS is the change that Obama brought to the culture of DC and of politics in general. From ‘Hope We Can Believe In” to “Hope We Can Keep Our Jobs”

Alabama Communist

September 28th, 2010
12:33 am

No doubt his former Girl friend should be working on the World Wrestling Network as the ” Terror of the Republican Party”

GOP Chicken Choker

September 28th, 2010
1:24 am

Family values–I like the part about changing the name to keep any complications from happening with the German import.

GOP family values. Oaky Woods scandal, Sonny’s $18 million jet, Richardson’s $300 million Atlanta Gas pipeline bill/rate increase/lobbyist sex/sealed divorce with law partner-judge. Yep, we need more GOP. Why hasn’t anyone looked at Sonny’s campaign manager first running GEFA and doling out all the energy grant money to buddies–including the chicken farmer in Calhoun (where Perdue has one of his companies–he has big loans, too) that got the solar panels, or Chris Clark moving on to DNR and hamstringing EPD. Listen, EPD just let Forsyth Co get approval to dump 6 million gallons a day of [inadequately treated] sewage in the river above your water intake, so you if you think things stick now….go GOP, and look out for those dangerous salvaged cars that Deal is protecting us from.

Ashamed in Marietta

September 28th, 2010
1:39 am

There is nothing left to say. He beat and threatened to kill a woman. Are you honestly going to try and justify this behavior because of his political affiliation? This man should be in counseling, not making decisions for this State. He is a man with serious anger issues who makes decisions based on selfish emotions, not reason. Jason “Woman Beater” Shepherd – Republican for Georgia. Who is going to vote for that? Who would admit in public that they voted for a guy that beats women?

Jones Appellate

September 28th, 2010
4:15 am

Male victims of domestic violence are a lot more common than most people think. In fact studies show that women are just as likely to be the abusive partner.

Nathan Deal

September 28th, 2010
4:23 am

I would if you pay my bills.


September 28th, 2010
4:51 am

Let’s see. One guy running for governor lies about his finances and why he left Congress before an ethics investigation. You have a republican governor who rerouted a road to abutt his property. Now you have a woman beater who you are trying to spin as a victim. Does this party have anybody who has the least bit of morals.


September 28th, 2010
5:16 am

Yeh, my ex says he didn’t abuse me either….he also lies about his porn addiction and had a restraining order against me so I wouldn’t talk to his famiy about it….This guys a liar, you can count on it. Where’s the girlfriend? We should get her side of the story!

eddie dick tracey long

September 28th, 2010
5:52 am

who would want to be called Goldfarb anyway? I would change my name too!

Buzz G

September 28th, 2010
6:01 am

A woman who files false charges like this should go to jail for a long time. I know it happens all the time. The law never prosecutes false charges against women.

I can see Russia from my house aka half governor of Alaska

September 28th, 2010
7:23 am

Jason, come on up to Alaska and help me keep an eye out for the Russians. I have pretty daughters.

You betcha!

The Centrist

September 28th, 2010
7:29 am

If the charges were false, why did HE get a six-month protective order placed against him. The alleged charges were not dropped because they were “false,” but because woman failed to appear.


September 28th, 2010
7:40 am

I am a democrat, and would not vote for this guy in a million years. But, if the American public insists that all our candidates be unblemished, we will continue to be sorely disappointed. There was a domestic squabble, and, at least in a technical sense, no crime was committed. This is a non-issue. I really don’t care about a candidates love life. I do care if they are relatively honest and fiscally responsible.


September 28th, 2010
7:49 am

As with much of political reporting today, much adoo about nothing.


September 28th, 2010
8:39 am

Aguagirl……just a rumor that the upstate New York trip had somthing to do with sneaking his with across the Canidian border to get her in this country…..couldn’t get in legally from Germany….is she an illegal alien? just republican party talk I heard….dont know if it is true….but ….


September 28th, 2010
8:40 am

[...] in case you missed it, Political Insider’s Jim Galloway reported on the warning he received from  Jason Shepherd, a Republican candidate for a state House seat in [...]


September 28th, 2010
10:16 am

I am not in this guys district, and don’t know this guy’s positions, but this story would not effect my decision either way.

Anyone can be arrested for something. A conviction is what counts.

False arrest shouldn’t haunt a person for life.