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Virginia Republicans will pick candidates at convention versus primary next year

General Assembly passes ethics bill
Posted at 6:02 PM, Dec 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-06 08:22:31-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Republicans will select the party’s candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General during a party convention next year instead of a primary vote. The Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee made the decision during vote Saturday afternoon.

So far, two Republicans have declared their candidacy for the Republican nomination for Governor, and now one of them is vowing to run as an Independent because of the convention nominating process, which has the potential to split GOP voters on election day 2021.

State Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) wrote on her Facebook page that “I am a Republican running as an Independent in a primary.”

“It’s the only way to bypass the political consultants and the Republican establishment elite who slow play the rules or even cheat grassroots candidates. They have demonstrated consistently that they are out of touch with the people of Virginia and now they are only allowing the party elite to participate,” Chase said.

Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), the former Speaker of the House of Delegates who announced his campaign for the nomination last month, said in a state that “Chase’s antics have long grown more than tiresome.”

“Her threat to run as an independent is based solely on the fact that she knows principled, conservative Republicans will never tolerate the demagogue she has become. She could participate in this nomination contest, but instead she will fade from relevance as loyal Republicans continue to focus on putting our conservative principles to work solving the challenges people face daily in this Commonwealth under weak and misguided Democratic rule,” Cox said.

A date has not yet been set for the convention. Four people have declared for the Lt. Governor nomination, and two Republicans have announced plans to run for Attorney General, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.