Legal, financial reasons for a Virginia GOP 2016 presidential PRIMARY

Republican elephantBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The debate among Virginia Republicans about convention versus PRIMARY for the 2016 presidential nomination continues as we approach the June 27 meeting where a vote will be taken.

The latest voice for a PRIMARY is from the former president of the Young Republican Federation of Virginia, John Scott in an op-ed at Bearing Drift (see Conventions have their limits; go Primary in 2016).

Scott’s reasons for seeking a PRIMARY include:

1) Location: Scott notes that the 2013 convention boasted 13,500 delegates and, in a presidential year, that number would surely grow which would make the largest arena in Virginia, with a capacity of 14,600, too small.

2) Data: Far more voters participate in a primary which builds the information base.

3) Money: Now this is an important one since RPV is in dire financial straits yet state central wants to put on an expensive convention estimated to cost at least $300,000. Scott rightfully notes, “Even if we charged every Presidential candidate $25,000, we would not raise enough unless 12 candidates filed—which history suggests will not happen. 2000 had 5 candidates (Bauer, Bush, Forbes, Keyes, McCain); 2008 had 6 (Giuliani, Huckabee, McCain, Paul, Romney, Thompson); and 2012 had 2 (Romney, Paul).”

4) Poll Tax: Scott writes, “Last year, SCC voted to allow RPV to require convention delegates to pay a mandatory filing fee to vote.” He continued, “The Supreme Court ruled in Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia that mandatory convention filing fees are subject to DOJ preclearance (pre-approval) under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Additionally, voters are given a legal right to challenge the fees as a poll tax. Simply put, the RPV is highly susceptible to lawsuits and will have to expend precious resources to defend itself.”

5) Poor PR for the GOP: Scott noted the backlash that could happen: ” ‘REPUBLICANS INSTITUTE POLL TAX.’ ‘BACK TO JIM CROW DAYS.’ ‘NO BLACKS IN OUR PARTY.’ Is it race-baiting? You bet. Will the media do it? Absolutely. And finally, as a result, there is not a single Presidential candidate on record supporting a Convention with mandatory filing fees in Virginia, and several oppose it.”

If interested in a PRIMARY, here are some ways to express that desire:

1) Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

2) Contact the Republican Party of Virginia (804. 780-0111 / Info@Virginia.GOP) and let them know you want a PRIMARY.

3) Contact your local state central committee (SCC) member. Their contact info is listed here. The state is divided into regions with reps from each; contact RPV if you need further help with this.

4) Contact RPV Chairman John Whitbeck (

5) Contact everyone on the RPV Executive Committee (find contact info here).

Share this information with others who would like the opportunity to go to the polls in a primary on March 1, 2016, and vote for presidential candidates. Otherwise, most Virginia Republicans will be shut out of the process.

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2 thoughts on “Legal, financial reasons for a Virginia GOP 2016 presidential PRIMARY

  1. […] Primary – Brian Schoeneman: The GOP in Virginia needs a Presidential Primary – Legal, financial reasons for a 2016 Presidential Primary – Wake up, GOP! – National Journal: Why Virginia’s Tea Party wants the GOP to […]

  2. […] – Legal, financial reasons for a Virginia GOP 2016 Presidential Primary […]

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