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Nomination Process To Be Decided at Tonight’s State Central Committee Meeting – UPDATED

ADJOURNED at 10:51pm.

UPDATED 10:50pm: Resolution passed to make no changes to Party Plan before the convention.

UPDATED 10:22pm: Call adopted for convention. No definite plans but mentioned was a “drive-in” convention at Liberty University on May 8. One location, all voters go there. Stay in cars. No more info available because SCC doesn’t have more info.

UPDATED 8:45pm: Canvass voted down.

UPDATED 7:40pm: The meeting is finally live-streaming … Republican Party of Virginia | Facebook [1]

UPDATED 7:25pm: The meeting that was to be live-streamed is not. SCC member Erika Dyer posted: “Thomas Turner has made a motion to direct the Chairman to live-stream the current Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee meeting regarding the method of nomination. Levin Turner seconded the motion. We are now discussing the motion. Stay tuned.”

UPDATE 7:00pm: Former Virginia Republican Governors George Allen, Bob McDonnell, and Jim Gilmore have come out in favor of a Canvass [2] for the May 1 RPV convention. From Virginia Mercury reporter Graham Moomaw:

Three former Republican governors of Virginia have teamed up to try to help their party resolve a bitter internal battle over how to pick its slate of 2021 nominees.

On Tuesday, former Govs. Bob McDonnell, George Allen and Jim Gilmore sent a letter [3] addressed to Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson and members of the party’s State Central Committee urging a solution to the procedural impasse that has thrown the start of the 2021 contests into confusion.

With various factions arguing [4] over whether the party should hold a primary, canvass or convention, the three ex-governors are proposing a party-run canvass as the most workable nominating method. The State Central Committee has repeatedly voted against holding a primary, but its members are scheduled to meet again Tuesday night to try to decide between a canvass or a convention.

In the future, they wrote, the party must do a better job of choosing its process early, “independently of any specific candidate or faction.”

“For today, we respectfully implore you, for those candidates who might wish to follow in our footsteps as statewide elected officials, to end the stalemate, select a canvass and unite to win in November,” the three governors wrote in the letter obtained by the Mercury.


This has been a drawn-out process but it appears there will be a Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee meeting tonight at 7:00 pm – Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

With a May 1 Republican convention or primary on the horizon, the method of nomination is still a wrangling point at a time when a convention was voted on but the global pandemic prevents large gatherings to avoid Covid superspreads.

Therein is the sticking point.

If there is to be a primary, it must be voted on today. If there is to be a convention, which isn’t allowed – and planning one by hoping the pandemic will be under control in two months isn’t the smart way to go. The decision needs to be made on whether it’s a Canvass or some other method.

A Canvass makes sense because:

1) It would allow all Republicans to vote.

2) No pre-registration to participate.

3) Most importantly, unit committees wouldn’t have to conduct Mass Meetings in the midst of a pandemic to elect delegates to a Convention.

4) No Party Plan amendment is necessary; just a majority vote of SCC.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch [5] has background as well as Bearing Drift’s D.J. McGuire [6], Andrea Epps [7], and Lynn R. Mitchell [8].

The SCC meeting called last Saturday by 31 members was to move the ball forward but the meeting was denied by RPV Chairman Rich Anderson who said it was out of order, no matter that SCC members were trying to find a solution before the February 23 State Board of Elections deadline for notification of a primary which would be a state-run event. Anderson had originally scheduled the meeting for February 27 which, obviously is after the SBE deadline.

From The Hill [9]:

The party’s chairman, Rich Anderson, wrote in a letter to committee members last month that he was concerned the committee would not be able to reach a consensus on how to proceed, which would leave the executive committee with the decision to choose the nominee.

“That will require that our three statewide nominees be selected by the State Central Committee (SCC), which will take on the perception of party bosses huddled in a smoke-filled backroom,” Anderson wrote, according to Virginia Scope [10].

SCC members who called last Saturday’s meeting that was cancelled explained why a Canvass is their preferred method of nomination for May 1:

We have been working since the conclusion of the January 23 meeting to resolve the current impasse. That is why, in issuing our Call one week ago, we offered to support a Canvass as a compromise. …  We intend to advance that compromise when we reconvene Tuesday.

A Canvass fulfills the requirements several State Central Committee members who voted against a Primary in our previous meetings publicly stated were necessary for their support.

Specifically, a Canvass allows for ranked choice voting, so our nominee for Governor would earn the support of a majority of Republican voters participating. And unlike a Convention, a Canvass does not limit the number of Republicans who may participate in the process.

Essential to resolving the current impasse, it is not necessary to amend the Party Plan to conduct a Canvass. The State Central Committee could select that method now by majority vote.

Finally, a Canvass does not require Republicans to pre-register to participate, nor would any of our unit committees have to conduct Mass Meetings in the midst of a pandemic to elect delegates to a Convention. At our previous meetings, several State Central Committee members who voted against a Primary indicated they would not support an in-person Convention as the method of nomination.

Canvasses, which have been successfully conducted to select nominees for Congress in the 10th District, for many House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia districts, and for local and constitutional offices in localities, are a proven party-run method of nominating candidates who win general elections. As evidenced by canvasses held recently in the 38th Senatorial District, and the 2nd and 90th House of Delegates Districts, a Canvass can be conducted in a manner that does not invite the intervention of the Governor.

While a Primary has been and will remain our “first choice” as a method of nomination, we have committed ourselves to supporting a Canvass to resolve the current impasse. Our candidates and Republican voters deserve certainty in the nominating process. By selecting a Canvass, State Central can deliver that certainty without further delay.

We hope more State Central Committee members will support this compromise. We urge all of our colleagues to join us in resolving this impasse and uniting our party by selecting a Canvass to choose our statewide nominees for the November 2 General Election.

Stay tuned….