Richmond, VA — After months of brutal infighting and ceaseless intra-party chaos, Virginia Republican Party insiders will select their nominee for governor at an unassembled convention this Saturday -- and it is set to be nothing short of a disaster. The Virginia GOP’s bizarre nominating process has caused extreme frustration among the candidates and a great deal of confusion for Republican voters, the vast majority of which are being completely sidelined from voting.
One Virginia GOP official raised the alarm that the dysfunction will cause delegates to be rejected when they show up on Saturday -- and they’ll be angry. After a select group of party activists “vote” on Saturday, the Republican Party of Virginia will embark on a convoluted vote-counting journey that could last several days. Votes will begin to be tallied on Sunday afternoon and the process will continue on until party insiders crown a winner.
Former GOP Congressman Denver Riggleman -- who has repeatedly threatened to run for governor as an independent -- was clear in his view of the GOP’s disastrous convention, saying:
“You’re to a point of insanity when you’re saying that less than 1 percent of the electorate participating in a convention or nominating process is deemed a success...I think that already sort of is the death knell for this election.”
While party insiders have fought tooth and nail to rig this convention against Amanda Chase -- the Virginia GOP’s true standard-bearer -- these efforts have backfired. As reported in The Nation:
“If the 37 mini-conventions gambit is really about boxing out Chase, it’s been a failure. The top contenders are running as Chase-lite; even if she loses, the winner will beg for her endorsement, and backing from her supporters. In trying to sideline Chase, they’ve become more like her.”
Meanwhile, in the final sprint of this race-to-the-right primary, the GOP candidates are doubling down on the toxic extremism that Virginians have repeatedly rejected. While they scramble to shore up support from the hardline activists that will decide this primary, the Republican candidates are trying everything from campaigning with Ted Cruz and Sarah Huckabee Sanders to advancing conspiratorial lies on Tucker Carlson’s show.
“This rigged, party insider-run process has been an unmitigated disaster for Virginia Republicans,” said Manuel Bonder, DPVA spokesman. “But it has been successful in one sense: it’s shown Virginians the GOP’s true colors, and proved that whoever emerges from the May 8th convention will be far too extreme for Virginia.”