It has been more than 72 hours since the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) met and set the date and details for our RPV State Convention. Three days later, RPV has not yet sent a “save the date” email with even general information to convention delegates. So…here’s the latest on our state convention.
At the outset, I sincerely thank the members of the RPV Ad Hoc Convention Committee, which worked hard to craft options for SCC consideration. I also thank the SCC for its deliberations and dedication. Although many wanted an in-person convention, I respect and will abide by the final decision of the SCC as the RPV governing body.
Here are convention details at the macro level:
- The convention will be held on Saturday, August 15, 2020, from 9am-3pm.
- It will be conducted as an unassembled drive-through event where convention delegates cast their votes from their vehicles.
- Each of Virginia’s 11 Congressional Districts (CDs) will designate their polling locations.
- CDs must notify RPV by July 6th of their polling locations, for approval by July 11th.
- Voting will be by Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) and with a uniform ballot that is used across all 11 CDs.
- The $11,000 RPV deposit held by the Richmond Convention Center for our June 26-27 convention date is non-refundable, but may be used as a credit for a future RPV event.
I and many Virginia Republicans remain concerned about RPV’s anemic fundraising activity and the depressed fiscal strength of our state party. After the public portion of the SCC meeting, the body went into closed session to discuss RPV fiscal matters. The concerning news is that several SCC members attempted to pose questions about party finances to the RPV Chair, who declined and abruptly terminated the video conference.
This latest development has deepened my concerns about RPV’s fiscal strength in two areas.
First, the RPV state account: This account is woefully underfunded. In the first three months of 2020, the Democrat Party of Virginia (DPVA) raised $545,000, while RPV raised only $29,000. On March 31st, DPVA had $309,000 cash on hand; RPV had an alarming $1,500 cash on hand.
Second, the RPV federal account: While healthier than the state account, our federal account in no way meets the definition of “healthy.” As an eight-year member of the General Assembly, my sixth sense tells me that the strength of our RPV federal account is eclipsed by that of the DPVA. SCC members tell me that there has been negligible fundraising by our state party and that income to the RPV federal account instead comes from the RNC (Republican National Committee), NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee), SRCC (Senate Republican Campaign Committee), and the Trump 2020 campaign. To be successful, the state party must engage in deep fundraising of its own—and not rely solely on grants from national political entities.
RPV finances will be my first and foremost priority. As I have previously outlined in detail, we will manage our finances with greater discipline, transparency, and accountability to our grassroots members. We will fundraise extensively to provide the resources essential to electoral victories. We will also create an RPV Chairman’s Business Roundtable that will partner with the Virginia business community to raise $250,000 in the first 90 days to fuel the initial rejuvenation of our state party.
I am emboldened by the fighting spirit that I see in our fellow Republicans across Virginia. I am chomping at the bit to get beyond our state convention on August 15th, when we again embrace the GOP warfighting spirit that It’s Time to Fight and Win Again.
I’m here for you and our party, and I want to hear from you: