The committee of the 11th district of RPV has voted to have a primary next year to choose their Congressional candidate. The vote results:
Ayes (In Favor of a Primary):
Kyle McDaniel–State Central Representative
Eric Nielsen–College Republican Representative
Ryan Rauner (by proxy)–State Central Representative
Stephen Spiker–Young Republican Representative
Becky Stoeckel (by proxy)–City of Fairfax Chairman
Jo Watts–Virginia Federation of Republican Women Representative
Nays (Against a Primary):
Matt Ames–Fairfax County Chairman
Fredy Burgos–State Central Representative
John Martin–Prince William County Representative
Paul Prados–11th District Chairman
There is one person who has declared candidacy in the 11th district, more on him in another post.
Update from Paul Prados Chairman of the 11th and TBE contributor:
I’ll add in some commentary as I’ve been too busy to post about this previously:
We discussed this openly at our April meeting and planned to vote on a method at the May meeting. Thankfully all voting members had an opportunity to participate. We followed relatively strict rules under Roberts Rules and the discussion was respectful and efficient. We record all of our meetings and make them available to any Republican in the 11th (or respectful interested observer) upon request.
The vote was not one of Primary v. Convention but of Primary v. some other method. Chairman Ames of the Fairfax County Republican Committee in particular indicated he felt we should wait until we have more information.
As I expressed in the discussion I do not feel that most Republicans at our May 2016 convention felt strongly about this issue. There are two glaring points of reference: First the May 14, 2016 convention body elected myself, Kyle McDaniel, Fredy Burgos, and Ryan Rauner. On the issue of Primary v. party run process we held varied viewpoints that were not hidden from the delegates. Instead a majority of our convention body chose us because of our other commitments, including the commitment to represent the grassroots. This has been borne out at State Central Committee meetings where we nearly always vote in the same manner on contentious issues. We are the only District Committee with District-wide elected party officials that are evenly split on method of nomination. The second point of reference came from our new VFRW representative who committed to vote as her constituency asked, and not as she desired. She related to our body that she had polled her constituency on this issue and received no responses.
Although, I am committed ideologically to a party run process, there is a very practical concern that drove my vote. We are likely to have 3-5 candidates on the ballot next year. With five candidates all struggling to get their message out in an expensive media market we could have a split vote for the Primary where the winner receives less than 30%. In a party run process such as a traditional convention (which I do not support) or a convention or firehouse primary with instant runoff voting we can instead have the candidate that truly represents the desires of the majority of the Republican voting base. Such a candidate is most likely to have run a campaign with a broader base of support, has shown they can run a campaign successfully, and is most likely to be able to build on a preexisting volunteer base.
All this being said, the vote is done and I hope we end up with 2-3 strong candidates who will all vie strongly and respectfully for the Republican voting base next year.
It always boggles my mind as to why Republicans want people other than Republicans to choose our candidates in a primary. A convention would attract Republicans who are engaged, informed and committed to candidates. A primary attracts the same people who would attend the convention plus tens of thousands (or more) of people who often are not well versed on the candidates or want to influence (negatively) the outcome. Mr. Prados’ concerns are also very real.