It’s Convention Day for Virginia GOP

It’s Convention Day and at the 1st District location in Caroline cars are lining up.  Thousands of texts, e-mails, phone calls, mail drops and May 8th is finally here.

Candidate Sergio de la Pena greeted me this morning with yet another, “See Something, Say Something,” email from his attorney on my email which has numerous bullet points suggesting fraud before the convention begins.

I guess that campaign did not get the word that the sites are run by HARD WORKING VOLUNTEERS, most of whom had nothing to do with the decision to have a convention and who have devoted hours of their personal time to making their districts successful in this effort.

One bullet point mentions long lines as a reason to report voter fraud. Wow! Look out folks on the ground! With a candidate like this you hardly need an enemy!

First District volunteers have been hard at it the past two days on set-up for the three locations for their convention, Prince William, Caroline and Gloucester. Last night was a culmination in several months of intense preparations, dozens of Zoom meetings and conference calls among those volunteers to make this happen on the ground.

The most notable aspect are the key people who pulled together leaving nothing to chance for the election to take place fairly in the 1st District and the fact that they are both primary and convention people. They agree to disagree, but can agree they need to give delegates a chance to cast a vote within a smoothly run process.

Setting aside differences they each used their skill set to form a team who have been up at night leaving no stone unturned to ensure integrity. Shout out to Bill Card of Prince William, Pat Dunnington of Gloucester, Jeff Sili of Caroline, Russ Wright 1st District Chair, Dave Willis of Fauquier the Head Teller and Adela Bertoldi of Stafford, campaign wrangler extraordinaire.

It’s been amazing to listen in to the meetings and watch folks help each other with issues which have arisen. These folks have hours and hours in strategic planning of the sites, obtaining volunteers, signage, traffic flow,  acquiring materials, security, and answering e-mails and phones calls.

Head Tellers like Dave Willis have the responsibility of the distribution of RPV materials, poll books, ballot boxes and the task of ensuring everything is done according to the rules which are detailed and lengthy. He has done a spectacular job already in that role.

A special shout out to Westmoreland County Chairman Alan Ayler for all the traffic cones, measurement of the lanes and bringing his golf cart to the expansive Caroline site and to the State Fair for lending the district so many extras, like sandwich boards and table.

Several of the aforementioned folks are also committee chairs, responsible for contacting delegates, spread sheets and more so they did double duty.

Shout out to the amazing Steve Albertson of Stafford and the rules committee who actually wrote the rules and procedures for the convention which have proved to be workable and practical in a difficult situation.

Long story short, Republicans can actually work together.

The campaigns continue to be a study in how to turn off people from attending conventions. Since Jeff is a local chairman, we get those screaming make-it-stop phone calls here in Caroline. I know I was impressed to get a call from none other than Ted Cruz!

God only knows the amount of money spent on this convention. One of the oddest things to come out the past 24 hours is the rumor that Youngkin is dropping out of the race and that this actually came from within his campaign.

Just speculation from comments made on social media but it looks like many went to Cox and Snyder. Stay tuned….

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