10:15 a.m. The ballroom is packed at the Richmond Hilton with a crowd of delegates representing the districts of the 7th Congressional District. Many familiar faces are here including former Governor Jim Gilmore and former Lieutenant Governor John Hager. Upward of 1,000 delegates were expected to participate. Congressman Cantor came in a while ago with his wife and family.
I’ll be updating throughout the morning. The meeting was just called to order by 7th Congressional District Chairman Linwood Cobb, a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance have started the meeting, and now U.S. Senate candidate Shak Hill is speaking.
10:25: State Senator Mark Obenshain is now cheerleading the crowd for U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie.
10:30: Now Tony LeTora, U.S. Senate candidate, is addressing the crowd.
10:35: Delegate Manoli Loupassi was nominated for temporary convention chair. The crowd booed and raised signs. Russ Moulton has been nominated from the floor. It has been ruled out of order because Mr. Molton does not live in the 7th Congressional District.
General counsel ruling declared that for someone to chair a convention, they must be a resident of that particular district.
There is an uproar in here. Another person was nominated from the floor … I didn’t catch the name.
Some parliamentary procedure is being explained.
A vote has been counted on the floor for the temporary chair.
Congratulations to Alec Thomas who was supposed to receive his master’s degree at this morning’s Liberty University commencement but he is here at the convention.
Linwood has permitted extra non-delegates to observe from the back of the ballroom. Workers for the opposition to Eric Cantor are roaming the room — Steve Albertson, Russ Moulton, Jamie Radtke, Steve Waters are all gathered together in the back of the room.
Team Cantor and Team Cobb: Matt Wells, Jason Kenney, Wayne Ozmore, Mike Thomas, Julie Coggsdale, Ray Allen, Alec Thomas, Melissa Nelson, Matthew Nelson, Aaron Gulbransen, Donald Williams, Fay Williamson….
Governor Gilmore is talking with folks all around the room….
11:10 Still counting. Jackets are coming off … the comfortably air conditioned room is now turning into a hot box.
Congressman Eric Cantor and Chairman Linwood Cobb have done more for Virginia Republicans than just about any district out there. Their fundraising abilities have gone through the roof to help Republicans so this opposition is totally ridiculous. Democrats have to be sitting back today licking their chops and loving every minute of this civil war.
Taking lots of photos.
It’s 11:15 and we don’t even have a temporary chair yet….
Shak Hill is talking with Pat McSweeney and crew in the back of the room while counting is taking place….
11:30: Manoli Loupassi is the temporary chair. He is now appointing committees.7th
Let me say again — Eric Cantor is the Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives. He has raised money, put Republicans into most (if not all) 7th District positions, and Linwood has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Republicans.
I hear someone covering this is complaining about security. The Congressman has been threatened a number of times over the years. This is a very volatile crowd and there’s a lot of yelling.
11:40: Fred Gruber is supposed to address the crowd but he has a proxy speaking for him. I’ve never seen that before. Oh, never mind — they’re making nominations. Radtke is now speaking. Now Fred.
11:47: Linwood Cobb is now speaking for himself. He is speaking with the voice of a leader. Native Virginian, Presbyterian serving 3rd term as elder, is church treasurer. Owned his own company, grew the business, employees, knows first hand the greatness of this country. If you risk and get out there and work hard. He got involved with political process in 1992 when he joined Henrico County Republican Committee the past 22 years.
(The other side is shouting while he’s talking. There’s a rudy unsettleness in this room.)
In the 7th, we do not lose elections. Every member of the house of delegates, senate are republicans. We turn out more votes in the 7th district than any other district in the state. Republcians have not done well in Virginia recently but not in the 7th. Rally rally rallying the crowd! Linwood and Eric win win win for Republicans!
Eight years ago we started an event held each year, the Republican Roundup, that attracts young families — thousands attend. 1,200 first year — now attracts between 5-6,000 people annually. Candidates are given a platform to speak, largest event in the state with exception of state convention.
$1,000,000 – 7th district has raised and donated to Republicans. Also helped delegates throughout the state, not just in 7th District. Far exceeded any other district committee. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. My record is there for you to judge. I humbly ask for your vote.
Linwood didn’t talk about what he dreams of doing … he talked about his accomplishments and what he has actually done. Go, Linwood!
11:55: Directions have now been given for voting to begin.
12:35: Dave Bratt is speaking to the crowd as counting continues. He is challenging Eric Cantor for Congress.
12:45: Congressman Eric Cantor is now addressing the room. There’s boos, something I didn’t hear when Mr. Bratt went up to speak.
I hear the inaccuracies of Mr. Bratt. (Boos.) Free speech means decency also. It’s easy to sit in the Ivory towers of a college campus with no accountability and no consequence (boos). It’s easy to say you’re going to go after Obama but it is an entirely different thing to actually do it. Unless we do it, to stand up and be counted. [Applause, cheers.] I stood up and led the opposition to Obamacare. [cheers, applause] I went to the White House in person and held up 2,000 pages of Obamacare and asked himt o defend it, and he couldn’t. And then he came to Richmond several times after that to attack me. After that, I went after totally repealing Obamacare. If we can beat Mark Warner, we can get the SEnate to also repeal thebill. My opponent was MIA during the battle. [angry shouts from crowd – hope no one is packing in this room]
While I was fighting against our president, my opponent served on an economic advisory board… [can’t hear the rest because of boos from the opposition. This is shameful for a REpublican gathering]. This is one of the rudest crowds I’ve ever been around. They want to take over the Republican Party????
[I am shocked at the behavior of this crowd.]
I’m glad there’s security. Meanwhile, the architects of this — Radtke, McSweeney, Albertson, Moulton — have satisfied looks on their faces in the back of the room. They appear to be content with this behavior.
Tea party and libertarians….
12:55: Still waiting. I’m hearing the vote is close.
Yep, Radtke, McSweeney, Albertson, and Moulton looked smug for a reason. They just won the 7th Congressional District Chairmanship. Hope they know how to steer the ship better than they’ve done in the past.
1:15: Fred Gruber won the chairmanship of 7th Congressional District.