How will the Republican Party nominate its statewide candidates this year? Check out the 2021 Nomination – Republican Party of Virginia. This web page provides a list of the candidates and the call for a convention, 2021-Convention-Call-March1.pdf (virginia.gop). The convention will be held on May 8, 2021, starting at 9:00 a.m., at Liberty University, 1971 University Blvd., Lynchburg, VA 24515.
If we want to become a delegate representing Republicans in Prince William County, we have to apply through the PWCGOP – Official Website of the Prince William County Republican Committee. Alternatively, if we live in Manassas, we have to go through the Manassas Republican Committee (themanassasgop.com).
That sound confusing? Not enough information? Well, the local parties are still getting up to speed. They have yet to publish their own convention calls. Nevertheless, if there is someone whose nomination your support, please visit their website (listed here, 2021 Nomination – Republican Party of Virginia). To get the nomination, a candidate must have lots of delegates at the convention who will vote for them. If a candidate can show you how to register for the convention, you may wish to reconsider your support.
Why did Virginia Republicans choose a convention instead of a primary election to nominate its candidates? Well, the answer depends upon who we ask. Here are some points worth considering, however.
- A political party is a private, not a government, entity. When a primary election is held, that puts the government — and incumbent politicians — in charge the process that a political party uses to select its candidates. In principle, since any political party should want to hold its candidates fully accountable, that is not a good idea.
- The First Amendment to the Constitution provides us the right to assemble and petition the government. That includes nominating candidates for public office. Since the way the First Amendment protects our rights is by prohibiting Congress from making any law that would prohibit or abridge “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” one has to wonder why we have primary elections. Since primary elections undermine the development of third party movements, commonsense suggests that primary elections pose 14th Amendment equal protection and due process issues. Unfortunately, since primary elections have been around for decades, it is unlikely that the courts would prohibit them.
- After the last election, Virginia Republicans now thoroughly doubt the integrity of government-run elections, including those run by the government of Virginia. Undoubtedly, Virginia Republicans want to do their best to nominate candidates who will fight to ensure the integrity of Virginia’s elections.
One last observation. None of this relates to how the nominees who will run to represent the various portions of Prince William County in the House of Delegates will be selected. That will be covered in another post.