Republican gubernatorial candidates Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) and Senator Amanda Chase welcomed Pete Snyder into the nomination race Tuesday.
“Look forward to working with you again Pete. Welcome to the race,” Chase tweeted, posting a picture of Snyder working in her 2019 campaign office.
Cox tweeted, “I’d like to welcome Pete Snyder to the 2021 gubernatorial race. It’s my firm belief that competition is a good thing — and I look forward to a robust discussion in which Virginia Republicans can choose the proven candidate that can best unify the party and lead Virginia forward.”
Republican candidates are disincentivized from attacking each other by the convention chosen by the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV).
A nominating convention uses ranked-choice voting. In ranked-choice voting, delegates rank their candidate preferences, and if their first-place preference is eliminated, their next choice gets their vote. As a result, candidates must think not only about who will rank them first, but also second and even third. Candidates can’t risk alienating their opponents’ delegates because they may need those same delegates later in the process.
“The question is going to be, who’s going to have the biggest first choice with a supplemental second choice that puts them over the top?” political consultant Brian Kirwin said on Tuesday on The John Fredericks Show.
In a Monday letter to RPV State Central Committee members, RPV Chairman Rich Anderson said that the party was moving forward with both an assembled and unassembled convention.
He wrote, “With our present impasse, I will direct the RPV staff to initiate contingency planning for both convention options (i.e., assembled and unassembled conventions). While I prefer to plan for an unassembled convention only, I do not have that option and would be negligent if I were to defer planning to a future date,” Anderson said.
Anderson added that the SCC risked having to choose its candidates itself due to the fissure between pro-primary and pro-convention factions, allowing neither a primary or an unassembled convention.
“Without approved SPP amendments for an unassembled convention, we are now on a trajectory that will preclude an assembled convention, an unassembled convention, and a primary,” he wrote. “That will require that our three statewide nominees be selected by the SCC, which will take on the perception of party bosses huddled in a smoke-filled back room.”
Kirwin said, “This is what opens the door for a guy like Pete Snyder. When you get full off back-room deals and wonky nine hourr meetings that accomplish nothing, people sooner or later will say enough. I want a private sector guy who’s going to throw out all this B.S. and basically going to roll up his sleeves and get to work and get things done for the people of Virginia.”
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John Fredericks is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Virginia Star.
He is also a Trump 2020 delegate and the chairman of the Trump Virginia Delegation.