The 97th HOD Republican Citizens Write-In Revolution of 2019
If you are someone who refuses to support a candidate hand-picked by two Senators and nominated by a corrupted process, welcome to the tent … the tent is BIG and it is GROWING … just as organically as antibodies fighting the virus.
Republicans from all corners of the party and all corners of the 97th House of Delegates District are angry. And amazingly, they are starting to ACT … to “write” a wrong.
Really. Many folks who just want to live their lives without political manipulation are refusing to allow a handful of individuals to determine who they can vote for, and they have managed to start something I didn’t think really existed. They have started an individual-turned-tsunami organic campaign to WRITE IN CHRIS PEACE as the 97th District’s representative in the Virginia House of Delegates.
The effort began following a widely-criticized nominating process marred by controversy. Thousands of Republicans found themselves disenfranchised when 56 insiders at the Republican Party of Virginia chose to throw the votes of 2,448 Republicans in the trash … in 2019 … in the USA.
Also worth noting, the SCC made its decision without hearing a single piece of evidence related to the disputed nomination. Rather than examine the issues, the committee acted immediately on a motion by an ally of the Senators who hand-picked Wyatt to retroactively “deem” a cancelled convention as a nominating event.
Since then, the voters have refused to be silenced. Across the 97th, signs are going up encouraging voters to WRITE IN CHRIS PEACE on November 5.
Voters are talking … at dinner parties, at soccer games, in the grocery store. They are sharing ideas and collaborating with each other to make damn sure Mr. Wyatt (and his handlers), the RPV, and everyone else will understand that they will NOT be manipulated, told who they must vote for, nor have their vote thrown away to further the interests of behind-the-curtain politicians.
Outraged and bewildered citizens have been flooding local papers with letters to the editor announcing their intention to WRITE IN CHRIS PEACE and checking off a laundry list of grievances against Wyatt, his allies, and the tactics used during the nominating process, and ever since. The simple fact that, as noted in one of the letters above, “Robocall didn’t include Peace in voter options,” is raising many questions that Wyatt and his handlers can never answer.
On social media, these frustrated voters continue sharing their opinions, and the calls for THE WRITE-IN REVOLUTION are spreading faster than Wyatt and the embattled leaders of the GOP seem able to delete them. Every contorted spin the Wyatt camp throws at the wall is being countered by the truth. As we barrel towards November 5, the rhetoric and blatant bullshit is flying as if it has been thrown into a fan.
For instance, 97th District is too strongly Republican for the Democrat to win, regardless of how the GOP vote is split. Supporters of the write-in campaign say the choice facing voters is which Republican will win: Peace or Wyatt.
In 2015, Peace won 78.8% of the vote, leaving little doubt that the Democrat is guaranteed to come in third this year, no matter how many Republicans (OR Independents or Libertarians) WRITE IN CHRIS PEACE.
How this Mess Began
In January, when the 97th Legislative District Committee (LDC) met to determine the method of nomination, Supervisor Wyatt controlled the majority percentage of the 97th LDC. Rather than doing the honorable thing and resigning from the committee, he sent a proxy to the meeting to vote on his own method of nomination, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Wyatt (and those who wanted someone they felt they could control) had been eyeing Peace’s seat since 2018 and decided that he would fare better under a convention in which his allies would control who was allowed to vote. Under party rules, the position of Hanover County representative controlled 62 percent of the LDC’s weighted vote, effectively …
… ALLOWING WYATT TO CHOOSE HIS OWN METHOD OF NOMINATION WITH A MAJORITY OF ONE.
From there, everything went downhill … like a tractor-trailer on an 8 percent downgrade, with no air to brake.
Four days after deciding his own method of nomination, Wyatt announced his candidacy. Later in April, Wyatt would be removed from the LDC for failing to disclose this blatant conflict of interest, reported the Mechanicsville Local.
We all have our personal reasons that make this situation unacceptable, and that is mine. All Wyatt had to do was resign as the Hanover representative before the first LDC meeting. He didn’t, and instead decided to blame the whole thing on the Hanover Unit Chair, Dale Taylor.
Shortly after choosing a convention, Wyatt’s allies in the Hanover GOP disregarded RPV’s advice and intentionally set Hanover’s filing threshold too low, resulting in a mass meeting where hundreds of Republican voters who supported Peace were prohibited from voting at the convention through a process known as “slating” – effectively allowing Wyatt’s allies to decide who would be allowed to vote.
“The 97th committee went against RPV advice and set a delegate limit too low,” wrote RPV Chairman Jack Wilson. “The committee’s decision is why over 350 people out of roughly 1,700 are ‘alternates’ and may not have been able to vote if the convention were held.”
Wilson continued, “Due to the actions the 97th district committee, the 97th House district would be the only location in the ENTIRE country in the past 7 YEARS where you could be a qualified Republican voter, have made plans to attend a nominating event, and STILL not be able to vote in Republican nominating process at the legislative level.”
At the same time, Wyatt was personally organizing his own convention and failing to accomplish even the most basic tasks, according to emails exposed through a Freedom of Information Act request to the Hanover County Public Schools.
The uncovered emails are worth a read by every voter who cares about the truth.
In them, Wyatt and his campaign took responsibility for the botched preparations, cut others — most notably the Peace Campaign — out of the loop, and broke party rules. Under his failed planning, the nominating process deteriorated into chaos. Days before the convention, botched preparations had left the LDC without a confirmed venue.
Tom Miller, 97th LDC Chair (and staunch Wyatt ally), frantically changed the location three days out with no possibility of providing adequate notice, in addition to a myriad of other unaccomplished responsibilities the RPV had warned them about more than once … months before.
In response, the LDC cancelled the slated convention, opting instead for a June 1 firehouse primary in which all Republicans would be given adequate notice and allowed to vote. The move was confirmed by RPV.
“To summarize, the May 4th convention has been cancelled by the 97th Legislative District,” wrote RPV Chairman Jack Wilson, in an email to District Republicans. “Any event to be held this Saturday will be a Scott Wyatt event, NOT a Party-sanctioned election.”
Per the rules in the RPV Party Plan, and based on the vote by the LDC to cancel the convention, it was removed from the RPV website and Peace voters did not attend the “Wyatt rally.”
“It will be paid for by supporters of Scott Wyatt’s campaign, not the Party,” continued Chairman Wilson. “If you want to vote for the Republican nominee for the 97th House of Delegates, I encourage you to be look for an upcoming Party canvass that will be formalized next Wednesday by the 97th LDC.”
“GOP committee votes to scrap convention in Peace-Wyatt House race,” reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“State GOP stands behind vote to cancel 97th District convention,” reported the Virginia Gazette.
The primary mentioned by Wilson was conducted on June 1, delivering a resounding victory to Chris Peace, and allowing 2,448 Republicans to vote, in contrast to 486 (of 1,700 delegates) who attended the cancelled convention. Both candidates’ names were listed on the Primary ballot.
The overwhelming voter turnout at the firehouse primary came in spite of a last-minute effort by Wyatt’s campaign to prevent these Republicans from voting. This link also includes the entire saga … on video for those who prefer to watch and see for themselves.
The 97th District DOES have a choice between two Republicans
Ever since, the voters in the 97th have refused to accept the nominee forced upon them by 56 individuals at the state party in Richmond, and they have started the revolution … to mount a WRITE-IN campaign for CHRIS PEACE. They will be ignored no longer.
And the powers that (want to) be are not pleased. The chairman of the Hanover GOP, Nick Collette, opted to attack voters, and he did so using his position as Chairman.
“Mr. Collette is saying that the 2,271 people who voted for CHRIS PEACE in the only relevant (at the time it was held) nomination contest ARE AIDING THE DEMOCRATS? Yes, Mr. Collette is saying that Hanover, New Kent, and King William are bastions of blue … and if you support Delegate CHRIS PEACE, you are too.”
In his own words, “These supporters of Del. Peace are not Republicans.”
And one last point that, in my opinion, is pretty important:
The powers that be … those who have been beating the “Medicaid Expansion” drum as the reason for throwing Peace under the bus … are still trying to manipulate the public. Even Wyatt can’t seem to make up his mind. But you know that, so I will leave you with this….
Those powers that be were themselves negotiating to expand Medicaid. This entire nightmare is about power and ego, nothing else. More on that will follow.
But the purpose of this piece is to explain this travesty (with information and opinion), and also explain why I thought our readers might be interested in reading the opinions of OTHERS. So, for your consideration, as part of this story, we will post some of our readers’ views. These are the folks who have started The 97th HOD Republican Citizens Write-In Revolution of 2019.
Delegate Christopher Peace had no knowledge of, did not give or imply his permission for, and has had nothing to do with this post, any posts related to it, or my opinions. He is my Delegate in the 97th, and as my public official, I will avail myself of my First Amendment rights and mention his name as often as I think it is necessary to complete my story.