Seven gubernatorial candidates successfully filed for the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) nomination convention to be held May 8, the RPV announced Friday. Six candidates filed to run for lieutenant governor, and four candidates filed for the attorney general race.
“The field is now set for the 2021 Virginia State Republican Convention with an incredible slate of Republican candidates for statewide office, RPV Chairman Rich Anderson (pictured above) said in the press release. “I’m proud of these Virginians who have stepped forward to offer themselves in service to our Commonwealth as governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Each possesses unique attributes of leadership; all are devoted to the premise that Republicans can make life better for their fellow Virginians.”
Former RPV Chairman John Whitbeck told The Virginia Star that the amount of candidates is unusual. “In 2013, you had very large field for lieutenant governor, but only two people running for attorney general, and then governor was not contested in the primary. Other than that, I can’t think of a time that this many candidates have been running for all three of these offices in one year.”
The candidates for governor are: Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Sergio de la Peña, Peter Doran, Octavia Johnson, Pete Snyder, and Glenn Youngkin.
The candidates for lieutenant governor are: Puneet Ahluwalia, Lance Allen, Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), Tim Hugo, Maeve Rigler, and Winsome Sears.
The candidates for attorney general are: Leslie Haley, Jason Miyares, Chuck Smith, and Jack White.
“A really important thing to keep in mind is this is a state where Republicans haven’t won a statewide race since 2009, and the fact that good people are still willing to step up and run for the extremely important office of governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general is a testament to how enthusiastic the party is for this off-year election,” Whitbeck said.
Whitbeck is a political consultant with Stratpoli; he has endorsed Hugo and supports Snyder and Miyares.
Whitbeck said the enthusiasm to run is driven by several factors. “Obviously, some of it has to do with what happened last year [in the 2020 elections.] A lot of it has to do with the overreach of the Democratic majority in the General Assembly. A lot of it has to do with the outcry that’s going on in the suburbs, especially about shutting down schools, and you know, Republicans really being the only party that’s advocating for putting our children back in schools.”
“Part of it is election integrity, trying to clean that up, which for a lot of Republicans is a big issue, and then, you know, just the general issues that motivate everybody. They’re trying to take away our Second Amendment rights in some people’s minds,” he said.
“The death penalty and the parole board,” he added. “Law and order, and all these issues are going to be really important, which is why I think we’ve got a great chance of taking the attorney general’s office this year.”
The Virginia Star Publisher John Fredericks said, “It’s your typical battle among establishment, represented by the former Speaker of the House Kirk Cox, a businessman, Glenn Youngkin, with no political experience whatsoever spending a lot of money, but that makes a difference. Pete Snyder, who’s been involved a long time but who’s also never been elected to office, and Amanda Chase, who has probably the most passionate following, but does she have enough?”
Fredericks said, “This is ranked-choice voting, which is different than a plurality primary. In order to win, you have to be a lot of people’s second choice. And that’s where I think Pete Snyder and Kirk Cox have an advantage.”
But he said, “You really can’t count out Chase because you don’t know how many people she’s going to bring [to the convention]. You can’t count her out, and Glenn Youngkin is the wild card because he’s got 75 people in the field making $5,000 a month. He’s got an enormous ground operation.”
Fredericks said, “This is a four-person, wide-open race.”
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