7th Congressional District Convention Live Coverage
Bearing Drift’s Matt Colt Hall, Mike Allers Jr., and Lynn R. Mitchell are working the 7th Congressional District convention today. Matt and Mike have boots on the ground in Doswell, and Lynn is at the BD desk posting their updates. Temp in Doswell is 93-96 degrees today with a heat index of 100-105.
8:25 pm: Many thanks to Matt Colt Hall and Mike Allers Jr. for their coverage on this hot, summer day.
8:24 pm: Nick Freitas is the Republican nominee for the 7th congressional district with 56% of the final vote.
8:08 pm: Final results will be announced at 8:30.
7:40 pm: I hear that just about everyone has left … and that includes the Bearing Drift crew.
7:25: While waiting for voting to close at 7:30, I looked at the results of Round 2.
So if Freitas takes his 46.7% and adds it to Knaggs’ 3.7% = 50.04% (did I add that correctly?)
Take McGuire’s 25.1% + Ramirez’s 24.5% = 49.6%
All campaigns needed every delegate to stay and vote. This looks to be a squeaker.
6:45 pm: It’s been a long, hot day for delegates as they vote and leave Doswell. I’ve heard from multiple sources there is likely to be a challenge over the State Central Committee vote because of the possibility that wrong ballots were handed out to people who were eligible to vote for SCC (but those candidates were not on the ballot).
6:30 pm: This is when you play the Jeopardy “Final Round” music while delegates vote in Round 3.
6:00 pm: Ramirez’s delegates have stayed to vote for McGuire, declaring “anyone but Freitas,” as per Brandon Jarvis.
6:00 pm: Ramirez campaign has put out a flyer….
— Brandon Jarvis (@Jaaavis) July 18, 2020
5:45: Tina Ramirez has endorsed McGuire.
5:40 pm: Knaggs has dropped out and endorsed Freitas.
5:35 pm: Round 3 voting begins around 6:00.
5:30 pm: Round 2 results – Freitas 46.7%, McGuire 25.1%, Ramirez 24.5%, Knaggs 3.7%. According to the rules, two are dropped so Ramirez and Knaggs are out. Round 3 is between Freitas and McGuire.
— Virginia Political News (@VaPoliticalNews) July 18, 2020
5:10 pm: Delegates have been told results of Round 2 should be ready by 5:30.
5:00 pm: Second ballot voting has finished.
— Laura Vozzella (@LVozzella) July 18, 2020
4:50 pm: Laura Vozzella with the Washington Post jut tweeted, “Just announced at VA07 convention: ‘If you’re a member of 7th District committee, pls make your way to the disputed ballots tent.’ ”
4:00 pm: Round 2 voting has been underway for a little over an hour. Former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling posted on Facebook:
My friend Ed Matricardi reports that it took three hours to count the first round of the vote at the 7th district Republican convention, while delegates waited outside in near 100 degree temperatures. My guess it will take at least three ballots to declare a winner. The question is, will anyone be left to vote by then?
I’ve said this many times, but I’ll say it again…..we should never nominate candidates at closed party conventions. Primaries are much easier to administer, much quicker in outcome, and involve MANY more people. If we are interested in growing the Republican party, nominations should be conducted via primary elections.
2:20 pm: Percentages for votes – Freitas 43.5%, McGuire 25.89%, Ramirez 22.98%, Knaggs 6%. Keep in mind everything is fluid … we’re passing along numbers as we get them.
2:17 pm: Count numbers – Nick 44, John 26, Tina 23, Knaggs, 7, Greenwald 1, Roberge 0.
2:15: Results of Round 1 of voting: Freitas, McGuire, Ramirez, Knaggs.
1:45 pm: Nottoway reportedly is the only county left for machine count, then weighted votes, then the announcement.
1:30: Receiving multiple reports that there are problems with counting, and that apparently the Freitas campaign is delaying the vote so to thin the herd of delegates. Same old games. Someone in the parking area observed a steady stream of voters leaving but there’s no way to tell whose delegates they are.
Background: The fight between McGuire and Freitas campaigns is real. Tina Ramirez, meanwhile, has received an endorsement from Jason Roberge.
The 7th District Committee reportedly paid to have only one technician on site to reset the counters. With four counters and so many counties, the process of counting, resetting, and counting will take a long while.
We’re still on Round 1 (it’s almost 2pm). There had been hopes that Round 2 could begin by 1:00. Schedule is already off.
And the temperature in Doswell right now, where delegates are milling around outside unless they’ve taken refuge in air conditioned vehicles, is 93 degrees; heat index at this moment is 100. Temperature is expected to top out around 96. Practically no breeze.
1:10 pm: Counting continues. Face mask compliance: it was reported that no Covid guidelines would be followed so delegates can do as they please. Masks are reportedly 60-40 inside and 40-60 in lines outside. No physical distancing for the most part.
1:00 pm: Over 500 challenges to delegates. Unheard of in the past and way slows down the process. The rules are drawn up that there’s a winner when a candidate has a majority of those voting. Thoughts are it may take 3 rounds. Hydrate! Heat index in Doswell today is 105.
12:45 pm: As counting continues, delegates are milling around, waiting in parked cars, grabbing lunch — anything to while away the time before Round 2 is announced (if necessary).
Tara Carroll for State Central Committee
12:30 pm: The challenged delegates have now voted and counting has begun from Round 1.
12:15 pm: Challenges go on including friends of my parents who have been long-time members and involved in the 7th District.
Does anyone have numbers? We’ve heard everything from 800 to 3,500 delegates are there but nothing confirmed.
Noon: This from the Ramirez camp….
Delegates show up, vote, and leave with no speeches or other usual convention fare. Candidates are outside greeting delegates as they arrive for this firehouse primary-style convention.
All candidates have tents set up; the Freitas tent is air conditioned. Tina Ramirez has shuttles for people in nearby hotels.
A guess is that 70% of delegates are wearing face masks especially inside the building.
9:30 a.m.: Slow turnout; 800 have voted so far.
8:30 a.m. From Matt Colt Hall: It’s hot! Voting has begun, candidate signs cover the grounds, candidate tents are set up.
6:30 a.m. From Matt Colt Hall: GOOD MORNING VIRGINIA!
Rise and shine! We have a Republican convention today! Virginia’s 7th Congressional District will choose a Congressional candidate today! Of course, we at Bearing Drift would like to thank our friend and “Mamma” Julie Coggsdale for providing a couch to sleep on, good coffee, and great company (I’m stealing both of her dogs! They are precious!)
PLEASE follow Bearing Drift today for all the updates at the convention. My colleague Mike Allers Jr. and I will cover all the action! Please follow us throughout the day!