Godbey: Convention or Silenced Majority

By Chris Godbey

The 6th District in Virginia has always been a contentious Republican Committee with a strong organization focused on conventions as a nominating process. There are sound reasons for Republicans to prefer a convention. Not only are they cheaper to the taxpayer with the cost going to the party hosting it as opposed to having to include a primary ballot, but they also serve as a way to make sure that Republican voices come together to decide on the strongest candidate to represent their collective interest. So it was no surprise with Judicial Chair Congressman Bob Goodlatte stepping down that the committee would look to have a convention to nominate their next Republican Congressman.

What has been a shock has been the blatant electioneering that has been conducted by shady backroom insiders that are stealing an election and the constitutional right of the voters on the 6th District Republican Committee. What began as stated favoritism has ruptured into unlawful practices including secret meetings to conduct official calls, placing mail-in deadlines on Federal holidays, and disregarding the rules which they have voted to govern the process. This is something that is seen in banana republics in corrupt third world elections and has no place in the United States.

Benjamin Franklin, upon exiting “Independence Hall,” was seen to remark that we have, “…a Republic, if you can keep it.” Well, given the current state of affairs in the 6th District in Virginia I would argue that we have failed to uphold that simple tenant.

The real issue that has come to light with this dumpster fire of a nominating process is the fact that more than half of the 6th District committee members seem to individually support one candidate. In their zeal to ensure that a convention—which should be open to all Republicans to nominate their chosen candidate — they have completely shut down the process for all but those voters who are most informed about what must be done to vote.

As such, the reaction that I have received in VFW halls, farmer’s markets, and other community events has been one of shock and dismay that while they have voted consistently in Republican elections all their lives, they will not get an opportunity for their voice to be heard in this election. The true dismay has come from veterans, who feel as if the very thing that they have taken an oath to protect is being stripped away from them in the night through means of misinformation and arbitrary deadlines.

While intra-party squabbling is to be expected, there has to be a limit when it comes to denying people a fair opportunity to participate in the most basic of civic responsibilities. The voters of the 6th District should demand that the opaque nature of this nomination be tossed out and the opportunity afforded to everyone who wishes to participate. If that means resetting the process and adding names to a primary ballot, a primary ballot which will already be printed and distributed for a statewide primary in June, then so be it.

The Republican Party that I joined is one which I’ve always considered a “Big Tent” party, looking to bring in individuals from all walks of life. Yet this nominating process has led me to believe that the leaders of the 6th District of Virginia would rather return to the ways of smoky backrooms than an open process.

This is exactly why Millennials, now the largest voting bloc in the country, appear to be leaving the party in droves. We are tired of the inauthentic platitudes offered by political elite without providing any solutions! The only way to stem the tide is to have a better conversation about the issues that matter and allow for easier participation. That, apparently, is lost on the cabal running the 6th District Republican Committee. Not only have they forgone their responsibilities to the party, they’ve actively worked to limit democracy in Virginia.

Chris Godbey is a Republican political consultant who has worked on campaigns domestically and internationally as communications, grassroots, and digital consultant. He has served as an election observer in South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Caucuses. Currently he is campaign manager for 6th District congressional candidate Chaz Haywood.

  • old_redneck

    Looks as though the GOP civil war in the 6th District simply mirrors what’s going on in the GOP Senate primary.

    Del. Nick Freitas, the NRA’s newest waterboy, is talking a tough game when it comes to Corey Stewart.

    Ranting, foaming at the mouth on the John Fredericks Show, Freitas warned Corey Stewart to watch his back!!!

    In the interview, Freitas says he won’t “stand by and watch” Stewart “come after my character or my integrity,” claiming that Stewart’s staff has “questioned his heritage” and “military service.” Freitas also attacked Stewart’s “surprisingly small” poll numbers, despite Stewart “running for a long time now.”

    The broadside from Freitas comes after Stewart’s recent stunt in Richmond, where he called fellow Republicans the “toilet paper” GOP and “flaccid,” drawing rebukes from even his fellow party members.

    Watch: Nick Freitas Warns Corey Stewart to Watch Out, He’s Going to Hit Back Hard


    Fresh off his angry, incoherent tirade last Friday on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates, Nick Freitas (R-NRA) is apparently feeling feisty these days. On Monday, Freitas warned his Republican rival, neo-Confederate Corey Stewart, essentially to watch out – or else. Asked by a listener how, if Freitas wins the VA GOP U.S. Senate primary, he plans to get Corey Stewart
    voters to vote for him instead of staying home like they did for Ed Gillespie. Freitas’ response (clearly referring to Corey): “I don’t have some of the baggage that is commonly associated with people running for office that have been in this business for decades.”

    Freitas proceeded to diss Corey’s “surprisingly small” poll numbers, especially given that Corey has been “running for a long time now.”

    Freitas also bragged about his endorsements and fundraising, while raising the specter of Corey’s staff having attacked him. Check this out by Freitas:

    “It has been VERY disappointing to see some of the comments that have been made by very close supporters and paid staff of Corey Stewart, some things that are deliberate lies. I’ve had people question my heritage. I’ve had people question my military service…If Corey’s people are going to continue to do some of the things they have, including his paid staffers, well then we may have a different race on our hands. I don’t want it to be that way, I sincerely do not. But I am NOT going to stand by and watch him come after my character or my integrity. I hold those things very dear. And as I tell people, I’m a man before I’m a politician. And if there’s certain things that you
    attack, prepare to get attacked back. I don’t want it to be that way, but again, I’m not going to sit there and just take an onslaught of false accusations and character assassination…I’ll tell you this much, again I understand we’re all Republicans here, and again I want it to be a clean race, but I’ll tell you this much: when that poll comes out that does show me right there on part or ahead…Corey Stewart, if he decides that his own only course of action is to come after me, what he’s going to be coming after is something he’s never done before. And I think it would be wise of him to consider that.“

    Well, well!!! I don’t know what you Republicans are going to do, but, as for me and my Democratic friends, we are stocking up on popcorn!!! This promises to be a long, entertaining show, watching the RPV driving itself deeper into irrelevancy.

    • drjon4u2

      It was an excellent speech, but it relied on logic and critical thinking. I suppose that you and your Democrat friends are so accustomed to use feelings in your arguments and discussions that the logic seemed old fashioned and outdated and that is really a shame. A mind is a terrible thing to waste…

      • old_redneck

        “Logic and critical thinking” and Republicans are mutually exclusive. Your comment is a prime example.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.