April 30, 2021 News & Press Releases

What Virginians Are Reading Ahead of the GOP Convention of Chaos

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA — With just over a week to go until the disastrous GOP convention, the Republican Party of Virginia is failing to answer basic questions and resolve confusion around their nomination process. After their complete embrace of Donald Trump’s election conspiracy theories, this debacle is not entirely surprising — but it is devastating for Republican hopes in 2021. 

With a week to go in this sprint-to-the-right primary, Republican anger and frustration are boiling over. But don’t take it from us! Here’s what Virginians have been reading and hearing ahead of next week’s convention of chaos.

NBC News: A lot of confusion': Virginia Republicans stumble over their own voter ID requirement

  • “As Republicans across the country insist more laws are needed to protect election integrity, Virginia Republicans have found themselves in a bit of a voter ID quagmire.”
  • “Republicans in the state say the nominating contest has been a logistical nightmare.”
  • “It comes as the Republican Party has largely embraced President Donald Trump's baseless rallying cry that rampant fraud cost him the election.”
  • “Now, Virginia Republicans are facing questions from their own party about their enforcement of voter security measures — fueled by their decision to run their convention themselves, which required them to design their own applications and approval systems.”
  • “‘It's 'Lord of the Flies' in the Virginia GOP right now,’ said former Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman, who lost a state Republican convention last year that he and allies felt was rigged against him after he came under criticism because he officiated a same-sex wedding. ‘It's all very ironic.’”
  • “‘We're all yelling about what Democrats are not requiring to happen and we're doing the same thing here. It's crazy,’ said Jill Cook, the secretary of the Virginia GOP.”
  • “Firebrand state Sen. Amanda Chase, a candidate for governor who has described herself as 'Trump in heels' and been disavowed by leaders of her own party for comments they called 'idiotic,' told supporters not to trust the process.”
  • “‘DO NOT TRUST THE PARTY TO DELIVER ACCURATE RESULTS,’ she wrote in a fundraising email to supporters.”
  • “‘If they can’t even run an open, transparent primary process, how can they possibly govern Virginia?’ said Manuel Bonder, spokesperson for the Virginia Democratic Party.”

NPR: For Virginia Republicans, Running Their Own Election Hasn't Gone Smoothly

  • “Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase still believes — falsely — that the wrong man is in the White House.”
  • “But there's another election Chase believes has been corrupted, one closer to home: a May 8 Virginia GOP convention to select nominees for statewide offices.”
  • “For months, Republicans like Chase have cast doubt on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The upcoming vote in Virginia presented the state party with the opportunity to run an election of its own. It hasn't gone smoothly.”
  • “This year's complaints from Chase and other candidates come at a fraught moment for the party, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.”
  • "‘The pieces and factions of this state party are simply reflecting the kind of paranoia we're seeing from the Trump national party,’ Sabato said. ‘This has been instilled in the GOP now and I think we're gonna see a lot more of this in a lot more places.’"
  • “Former U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman [...] believes the "bulls***" system limits the party's ability to expand its voting bloc beyond the most conservative party activists.”
  • "’The convention is about disenfranchising as many voters as possible, which seems to be the GOP way lately,’ Riggleman said.”
  • “There's another parallel to the 2020 elections: It could take the party up to a week to tally votes and to name winners.”

WRIC: Infighting and voter exclusion: A look at the Republican nominating convention in Virginia

  • “On May 8, the future of the Republican Party of Virginia is on the ballot.”
  • “Months of infighting leading up to the contest has been a consistent source of distraction and frustration for party faithful.”
  • “Republicans expect record turnout at their largest ever “disassembled convention.” The choice, however, not to select nominees through a primary election is excluding hundreds of thousands of likely voters from the process.”
  • “Meanwhile, accusations that the format favors certain candidates and concerns over ballot counting are threatening to sow doubt in the results before they’re even announced.”
  • “The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) went back and forth on which nominating method to adopt over a series of tense Zoom meetings that started in December, revealing the internal conflicts within the state GOP’s governing body.”
  • “While RPV has taken steps to expand participation at the convention, several barriers remain.”
  • “For Republicans, it’s not enough just to be a registered voter. To take part in the convention, they also had to register as a delegate before their local party unit’s deadline. Each unit had their own deadlines but all have passed.”
  • “Many Republicans running for statewide office have made “election integrity” a priority during their campaigns.”
  • “This emphasis on security comes in the wake of the 2020 Presidential Election, which the Virginia Department of Elections called the “most safe, secure and successful election” in the commonwealth’s history.”
  • “However, some GOP candidates have continued to question that, repeating claims that it was “stolen” without evidence.”

Virginia Scope: Former Delegate David Ramadan discusses the Republican gubernatorial race

In a recent conversation with Virginia Scope, former Republican Delegate David Ramadan candidly handicapped the state of the Virginia GOP:

  • “Unfortunately for the Republican side, it’s been a sinking ship, and that started on a national level about four or five years ago.”
  • “The Republican party today in Virginia is ineffective, is non-representative of the center right or even the majority of conservatives.”
  • “On the contrary, it’s only representative of a small section of the electorate, of the Republican electorate -- that section that tended to go absolutely far-right; that section that tended to play on xenophobia; that section that tended to play on white nationalism and racism.
  • “That’s what we’re seeing in the likes of Amanda Chase and some of the craziness that we’re seeing on the right.”