Kenney: Here’s What You Need To Know About the RPV State Convention on May 8th

After much sturm und drang the RPV State Central Committee has chosen an unassembled convention with 37 locations (to be determined) across the Commonwealth on Saturday, May 8th from 9am to 4pm.


So now comes the hard part.

First and foremost, RPV State Central has to pull off this unassembled convention alongside our district committees. That may not be an easy task as eight gubernatorial candidates are hoovering in endorsements and trumpeting each one as a minor political coup. Precisely how many disinterested or non-committed poll workers will be left to run the unassembled conventions is anyone’s guess.

Want to file to be a delegate at the RPV Convention? Follow these helpful steps!

  1. Fill out this Delegate Filing Form. Just click here and fill it out.
  2. Save your form or print it to PDF. There should be little buttons on the top right hand corner of your browser.
  3. Send your Delegate Filing Form to the campaign of your choice. They will file the paperwork for you so you don’t have to! Which campaign, you might ask? Since Jason Miyares for AG has helpfully sent an e-mail outlining this process, we are going to heap all of our problems onto [email protected].
  4. DO THIS AS SOON AS YOU CAN. Some localities have yet to publish their calls, but some deadlines are as soon as March 18th.

Here is a partial listing which I have amended to go in chronological order (please feel free to forward other dates and we can keep a rolling schedule):

Franklin City / Southampton: March 18 (at meeting)
Newport News: March 19
Williamsburg/James City: March 24
King George: March 29
Henrico: April 3
Northumberland: April 3
Goochland: April 5
Patrick: April 6
Virginia Beach: April 7
Charlotte: April 8
Fairfax: April 10th at noon
Rockbridge: April 10
Shenandoah: April 16
Appomattox: April 17
Stafford: April 17
Powhatan: April 19
Salem: April 20

Obviously, feel free to contact your favorite campaign and file your Delegate Filing Form with them or file directly with your unit chairman. The process will be somewhat haphazard; give everyone a bit of grace and latitude if you can (we are on the same side, after all).

Of course, that’s the easy part.

The second and perhaps more difficult part is to set some parameters so that (a) when one candidate emerges (b) the integrity of the process remains intact and (c) the nasty campaigning — not the negative campaigning — is kept to a basic minimum.

If your mailbox is overflowing with mail from third party groups, don’t worry about it. Put it in the circular file (i.e. the trash can). If folks don’t have the courage to put their name to the attack, then it isn’t worthy of your consideration.

Instead, try this one neat trick out.

Listen to what the candidates are telling you about themselves. Find out what they are willing to bleed for and what they have bled for. What are they wearing on their sleeves in a way that sets them apart from the rest?

Look at their endorsements (they matter) and what they bleed for — especially the local ones — and find out why they are willing to bleed for that particular candidate.

Then start looking at their campaign staff — their tone, methods, anger, platitudes and sincerity — and imagine them in positions of power in Richmond when your vote doesn’t matter to them anymore.

Above all else, don’t feel pressured to pick a side.

Negative campaigning is a term used in political technology to describe reasons to vote against a candidate. Obviously, all of the candidates have disagreements, otherwise they wouldn’t be running against one another. But nasty campaigning that looks to bully, harass, lie, distort or flat out present nonsense as truth?

That’s immoral — and there’s enough of Old Virginia left to where honor and character still matter to the rest of us.

There are 53 days left until the May 8th state convention. One suspects that it will get really nasty the last three weeks in. Just be aware that there is a war on for your mind, that negative and nasty campaigning works by triggering the fight-or-flight mechanism in your amygdala, convincing your brain that the attack must be true because the emotions you feel are true.


You’re now an expert.

Weigh these candidates on their actions and their virtues, not on manufactured vices or purported negative campaigning. Tell them to explain not just what they want to do, but how they intend to do it, through which relationships, and how they have bled in the past for their causes.

Anyone can wave a bloody shirt. Only a few people can truly lead.

Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.

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