Virginia Republicans prepare for nominating convention

Posted at 1:55 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-17 08:12:42-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Virginia Republicans will hold an unassembled nominating convention to pick their nominees for statewide office on May 8.

"We have quite the crowded field this year," said Rich Anderson, the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

Seven Republicans are seeking the nomination for governor. Six are running for Lieutenant Governor and four are running for Attorney General. More information on the candidates is available here.

People wishing to become a delegate for the convention have to register with their local Republican Party Committee, and then they will vote in-person through their cars at locations across the state on May 8. Democrats are holding a primary to pick their candidates on June 8.

The party chose a convention instead of a primary. The convention will require a winning candidate to have a majority of support. In a primary, a candidate can win with under 50 percent of the vote.

"One of the reasons it was a driver for the party to select a convention was there was great concern with a primary with a large number of candidates that you could potentially come out of the process with 30 percent of the vote," said Anderson.

Delegates will use ranked choice voting in the convention, meaning they'll rank their preference of the candidates. The candidate in last will be eliminated and votes re-tabulated until one candidate gets to the 50 percent threshold.

"I think with the broad number of candidates we have this year, you bring some quality people to offer to voters," said Anderson.

Republicans haven't won a statewide election in Virginia since 2009. They're hoping to turn that around this year.

"I think this is going to be a pretty competitive year," said Anderson. "I think it's going to be brisk and exhilarating."