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A convention, not a primary, will determine Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate

Republicans have only used a primary in four of the last 13 gubernatorial elections

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While 2020 was a big election for the United States, 2021 will be when Virginians vote on their next leader.

For Republicans; however, they won’t be voting in a primary election ahead of the November election.

During a Saturday meeting, the Republican Party of Virginia decided that who will represent Republicans in the governor’s race will be decided in the form of a convention, not a primary.

While it may be a departure from most-recent history, using a convention is nothing new for Virginia Republicans.

Since 1969, Republicans have only used a primary in four of the 13 gubernatorial elections: 1989, 1997, 2005 and 2017.

On the flip side, in the same time frame, Democrats have used a primary in seven of the 13 gubernatorial elections: 1969, 1977, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017.

In 2001, the Democratic Party of Virginia switched made the change to use primaries; however, none were held in 2001 or 2005 as Mark Warner and Tim Kaine had no Democratic challengers.

Due to RPV’s decision, one of the two Republicans who has declared to run, Amanda Chase, is now planning to be on the ballot as an independent.

Following the convention decision, she announced the change to her campaign.

Chase isn’t alone in disagreeing with the RPV as U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman tweeted against the decision.

Kirk Cox, a Republican running for governor, announced he’ll partake in the convention.


About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.