Virginia Republicans make final push before nominating convention this weekend

Posted at 2:57 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 17:02:49-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - With two days to go until Virginia Republicans pick their statewide nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz campaigned for Glenn Youngkin at Hunt Club Farm on Thursday afternoon.

"God bless the Commonwealth of Virginia," Cruz told the outdoor crowd of more than 100. Cruz said he's focused on Virginia because it's among the first elections following President Biden's win last year.

"Y'all are the first to have the opportunity to speak and say to the American people, 'This is crazy town,'" Cruz said.

Youngkin, who is one of seven candidates running for the Republican nomination for governor, said Cruz is an old friend.

"I think [Cruz's visit] helps everybody recognize that there is a national spotlight on what's happening in Virginia," Youngkin told News 3.

About 54,000 delegates will vote on Saturday at 39 locations across Virginia in an unassembled convention. Republicans are using ranked choice voting, meaning if a candidate doesn't get 50% of the vote, the candidate in last place will be eliminated and their votes given to other candidates depending on how voters ranked them. The process is repeated until someone gets to the 50% threshold.

"I want to be everyone's first choice, and I think we've got a lot of momentum built up for that, but I've told people I'd be honored to be their second choice if there's someone they're loyal to right now," said Glenn Davis, one of six candidates for lieutenant governor.

Several of the candidates are holding events in Hampton Roads ahead of Saturday's convention.

"A large chunk of all the voters will be coming out of Hampton Roads," said Davis.

Votes will be tabulated beginning Sunday at a Marriott hotel in Richmond.

"We've never done this, so I think it may take a couple of times," said attorney general candidate Jason Miyares. "Let's make sure we get the votes counted right."

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson promises the vote will be fair.

"We have layered on multiple layers of protection that I believe will ensure the integrity of the ballot. Therefore, [we'll have] a correct counting process and a legitimate outcome that all can accept," said Anderson.

Heading into November, Virginia Republicans are seeking their first statewide win since 2009. Democrats are holding a primary for their nominees in June, but early voting has already started.