February 18, 2021 News & Press Releases

AP Reports: In Virginia, Republican Chaos Reaches a Breaking Point

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA — Today, new reporting by the Associated Press reveals the depth of the chaos and bitter divisions at the Republican Party of Virginia. The Virginia GOP’s flailing leadership continues to be unable to decide on how they will nominate their candidate, and Republican candidates are now voicing their extreme frustrations with the party — and each other.

Amanda Chase, the frontrunner in the convention, wait, primary, no, drive-through caucus (forget it, we give up) for the party’s nomination is worried about a rigged process decided by party insiders, saying, “the people of Virginia need to realize what’s going on here so they voice their frustration and concern.”

Confusion, chaos, and catering to extremism are now the hallmarks of the Republican Party of Virginia — and that does not bode well for November.

Read key excerpts and find the full report below:

AP: Some assembly required? Va. GOP sorts out nomination process

By Matthew Barakat and Sarah Rankin

Virginia Republicans hoping to break a 12-year losing streak in statewide elections face an additional self-imposed obstacle this year: They still have no idea how they’ll choose their nominees.

Plans right now call for a statewide convention May 1 to choose nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. The problem, though, is that mass gatherings are still banned because of the coronavirus pandemic. And party leaders can’t agree on how to adjust.

The confusion is such that Amanda Chase, a Donald Trump acolyte who has been the bane of the state’s GOP establishment, sued the Republican Party of Virginia over its inaction. [...]

Chase has long advocated a primary election to choose a nominee, fearing that the establishment can rig convention rules to her disadvantage. She’s worried that the party bosses will throw up their hands and simply choose a nominee themselves, without any input from voters, either through a convention or a primary. [...]

A lawyer for the state GOP responded in court papers that Chase is suing to gain a political advantage by blocking a nomination method that doesn’t work in her favor.

Still, party chairman Richard Anderson himself raised the possibility that the party’s State Central Committee will have to step in. He laid out the dilemma in stark terms in a Jan. 25 letter to party leaders.

"(W)e are now on a trajectory that will preclude an assembled convention, an unassembled convention, and a primary. That will require that our three statewide nominees be selected by the SCC, which will take on the perception of party bosses huddled in a smoke-filled back room,” Anderson wrote. [...]

"(W)e now stand at an impasse with no apparent way forward,” Anderson wrote in his Jan. 26 letter. “From my perspective, the clock is ticking.”

In an interview Friday, RPV spokesman John March said no significant progress has been made in the weeks since Anderson wrote his letter, but he downplayed the possibility that party bosses will choose a nominee. [...]

Republican gubernatorial candidates, meanwhile, are eager to see the rules put in place so they can tailor their campaigns to whatever the nomination process will be.

"The State Central Committee will take care of its business, hopefully sooner rather than later, but that isn’t stopping us from doing everything it will take to win no matter the nomination,” Del. Kirk Cox said in an emailed statement.

Another candidate, former Carlyle Group CEO Glenn Youngkin, expressed frustration with the party central committee in a Friday interview with Lynchburg radio station WLNI.

"I am so happy to run for governor no matter what state central decides. But this idea that we’re not going to decide is just unacceptable,” Youngkin said.