Saturday, June 27, 2015

2016 Virginia Presidential Primary Survives Tight Republican State Central Committee Vote

By a vote of 42-39 (with one abstention), the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee supported a compromise measure to hold a presidential primary in 2016 and a nominating convention in 2017.

The vote ends the push for a state convention to bind and select delegates to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from Virginia. The convention proposal called for March 5 district conventions to select delegates to move on to the state convention. It would have been at that proposed March 19 state convention that the first presidential preference vote in the process would have taken place, thus binding the delegates for the national convention.

But that proposal never came up for a vote. The primary compromise came up first and was passed. That clears the way for a March 1 Virginia presidential primary, placing the commonwealth alongside other southern states with primaries on the SEC primary date. With Virginia locked in as a primary state and one scheduled for March 1, the focus turns toward compliance with the Republican National Committee rules on proportionality. The Republican Party of Virginia allocated at-large delegates proportionally four years ago, but the congressional district delegates were awarded in a winner-take-all fashion. That latter allocation method will have to be altered to bring Virginia into compliance with the national party rules.

That decision will likely be officially made at the State Central Committee's September meeting.

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