The Virginia Republican party will gather for its state convention in Richmond this Friday and Saturday to nominate candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general for the November election.
Richmond will see an influx of 13,000 delegates to the convention – party activists who will nominate the candidates they think can maintain the party’s interests and win on November 5.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli became the party’s only nominee for governor when current Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling dropped out last year. Cuccinelli will be formally nominated this weekend and is expected to deliver an acceptance speech Saturday.
A senior council in Virginia’s Republican Party made a last-minute decision to hold a convention instead of a primary, severely decreasing the chances of a nomnation for the too-moderate Bolling and causing him to withdraw his bid.
Conventions tend to favor the more extreme candidates in a political party because only a very small, very active percentage of that candidate’s party will eventually nominate them.
How they’ll do in a general election is a different question.
The lieutenant governor race features seven candidates, making it essentially anybody’s game, experts say.
The candidates are Jeannemarie Davis; Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31st); Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart; State Sen. Steve Martin (R-11th); Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman Susan Stimpson; E.W. Jackson; and Pete Snyder.
Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) and Del. Robert B. Bell (R-Albemarle) are vying for the attorney general nod.
Delegates will arrive throughout the morning Friday before heading to the convention center, where the weekend’s proceedings will kick off at noon. There, they’ll go over the rules and regulations of the weekend before heading to a dinner with Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal appearing as guest speaker.
Candidates will be nominated Saturday, when the convention is once again called to order at 10 a.m. The large number of candidates means the process could take several hours.