Local GOP delegates come to the fairgrounds | New
About 5,000 Republican voters are expected to vote for GOP nominees for state offices this Saturday, May 8 at Prince William’s Fairground.
The fairgrounds are the voting places for registered Republican delegates from Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas and Manassas Park. It is one of 39 polling stations across the state in this year’s GOP “unassembled convention”.
The Virginia Republican Party announced last week that 53,000 delegates are eligible to vote at the convention. That’s about 14% of the 380,000 votes cast when the party picked its candidate for governor in a state-led primary in 2017.
The rules of the convention are complicated and have taken weeks for party leaders to define them. For the first time, the party will use “choice by rank” voting, which will allow delegates to rank each candidate according to their preference.
If no candidate wins at least 50% of the votes categorically, the one with the fewest votes is eliminated and the delegates who voted for the eliminated candidate will have their votes reassigned to their second choice in subsequent rounds of counting.
In addition, the votes will be weighted according to the partisan tendencies of each locality. Because the votes will be weighted by locality, votes from some smaller but more Republican counties will have more influence than votes from less Republican regions. Prince William County will have 511 weighted votes – the fifth highest in the Commonwealth behind Fairfax, Loudoun, Chesterfield and Virginia Beach.
This means that the Prince William County vote results will be translated to a certain proportion of 511 votes. So if Pete Snyder wins 60% of the county vote, he will receive 60% of the 511 votes, for example. In other words, each Prince William delegate who votes will only vote a fraction of the vote if more than 511 delegates vote at the convention.
Of the 5,000 delegates voting at the fairgrounds, around 3,500 are residents of Prince William County, according to Willie Deutsch, vice chairman of the Prince William County Republican Committee.
Due to the prioritization process, the ballots will likely have to be counted over and over again in a process that could take days. All ballots will be taken to a location in Richmond, where the voting contest will be broadcast live and protected by armed guards, party officials said.
For delegates, the process will be faster than what typically happens at a traditional convention, where voting typically takes place through many rounds of voting which can take several hours before someone receives 50% of the votes. voice.
“But it will take a lot longer to count the ballots,” Deutsch said.
There are seven candidates vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination – but no clear indication of who is leading the pack.
Snyder, an investor from Charlottesville, won a straw poll from the Prince William County Republican Committee at the committee’s annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner on April 19. Snyder won 47% of the approximately 150 votes cast at the event. Glenn Youngkin came in second with 30% and State Senator Amanda Chase came in third with 10%, Deutsch said.
“For the governor, Pete Snyder has the largest endorsement list in the county,” Deutsch said. “The races for the attorney general and the lieutenant governor are wide open.”
Deutsch said he endorsed Snyder, as did supervisors Pete Candland, R-Gainesville, Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville and former Manassas city councilor Ian Lovejoy.
“I have known Pete Snyder for eight or nine years through his involvement in the party and the [conservative] movement, ”said Deutsch, noting that grants from Snyder’s“ 30-day fund ”for small businesses gave his campaign“ on the ground ”credibility that resonated with voters in Prince William County.
Chase leads all other candidates in the individual campaign donations from residents of Prince William County.
Chase raised $ 15,316 in campaign donations from 38 individual donors in Prince William during the first quarter of the election cycle. Virginie Del. Kirk Cox, R-66e, of Colonial Heights, raised the second highest with $ 3,520 from six individual donors; and Snyder raised the third highest with $ 3,405 from four individual donors.