Doing so requires the approval of three-quarters of the state’s Central Committee members – a threshold so far unattainable because 31 of the committee’s 72 members stand for a primary. In other words, these Republicans are trying to block the possibility of having a convention; the state party has now held a total of four votes to consider the matter and continues to favor a convention.
“The fact that there is a minority faction that lost and stands in the way of a secure convention to try to get the primary that they couldn’t win fairly – that says a lot about them,” said Patti Lyman, the Republican National Committee for Virginia. “All their arguments can be boiled down to: We lost and we don’t like it.
Ms Chase, who was still arguing with less than a week in Mr Trump’s presidency that he could still be invested for a second term, said on Thursday that she ‘did not trust conventions’, this which she says unfairly limits voting access for members of the military and others who cannot make it to a site in person.
“If we are to win as Republicans, we have to include more voters who vote Republican instead of less,” she said. “Stop creating so many barriers for people who would vote normally.”
Some convention supporters are arguing for priority voting, a system that has been pushed elsewhere by progressives. The dispute threatens to undermine the Republicans’ already difficult fight in this year’s election and prolong democratic control of the state.
The party’s feud centers on a crowded group of Republican gubernatorial candidates who include one candidate each from the Trump wings and the GOP establishment, as well as two wealthy wild cards. The main candidates are Ms. Chase; Kirk Cox, former Speaker of State House, who is the favorite of the party’s elected state lawmakers; Pete Snyder, a millionaire tech executive who lost an offer for the lieutenant governor’s nomination at a party convention in 2013; and Glenn Youngkin, an even wealthier former CEO of private equity who is a newcomer to politics.
In past intramural skirmishes, conservative Republicans in Virginia have pushed for conventions to give the toughest party activists a bigger voice. In 2013, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II won the gubernatorial nomination at a convention after his Social-Conservative allies dismissed more moderate candidates who preferred a primary.