Delegates to our Virginia GOP state convention will make several important decisions during balloting on Saturday, August 15. Information on the issues and the procedures are found at https://virginia.gop/rpv-convention/. The convention is “unassembled” (see Article XII of the State Party Plan), which in this case means that voting will take place at twelve different locations around the state.
Perhaps the biggest decision is selecting a new State Party Chairman. The three candidates are current state chairman Jack Wilson, former delegate Rich Anderson, and Lancaster County Unit Chair Michael Schoelwer. In order to make sure the new chairman is elected by a majority vote, we will use a “preferential ballot.” On a preferential ballot, voters mark their first choice for chairman. Then they mark their second choice for chairman. The first time the ballots are counted, every candidate gets a vote for each time they are marked as someone’s first choice. If none of the three candidates gets a majority of the votes during the first count, then the third-place candidate is dropped from contention. The ballots on which he was first choice are counted again. This time each of the eliminated candidate’s ballots are counted for whichever of the two remaining candidates the voter selected as second choice. The candidate remaining in the race who receives the most first and second choice votes combined is the winner. That means if your first choice is eliminated, you will have been able to vote your preferred second-choice candidate from among the two remaining. It’s like doing a second round of voting, just on a single ballot.
Michael Schoelwer is my first choice. The RPV desperately needs to be revitalized and redirected. I have spoken at length with Michael, and I believe he can provide both. I am especially encouraged by the philosophy he gained during his career in the State Department of providing the field ops with the supplies and support they need and then letting them do their jobs without interference from on high.
Rich Anderson will get my second choice vote. I have not talked with him as much as with Michael, but he is solid on most of the issues that matter to grassroots conservatives. I believe either Michael or Rich can get the Party out of our current doldrums.
Morton Blackwell ran unopposed for reelection as National Committeeman. For National Committeewoman we are choosing between Jean Gannon, a long-time establishment Republican, and Patti Lyman, a grassroots leader who has been on the political firing line for a number of years. I will be voting for Patti.
We will elect two Presidential Electors. The only candidate I know well enough to support is E. W. Jackson.
We have the opportunity to vote on four amendments to the State Party Plan. The first amendment seeks to make the State Central Committee (SCC) more lean and agile so we can deal with issues much more quickly. Currently it is bloated with members who are elected by other SCC members. They have no real constituency unlike those of us who were elected at District or State Conventions and represent actual voters. The false flag being raised about how the amendment will disenfranchise our Republican auxiliaries is just that, false. Currently the CRs, YRs, and VFRW have 11% of the vote on SCC. After this amendment reduces the size of SCC from around 80 to 56 members, the auxiliaries will still have 11% of the vote. Additionally, they still each have a vote on each district committee. No one is trying to disenfranchise them. That is just a false flag. I will vote in favor of this amendment.
The second and third amendments will add to the SCC bloat, not reduce it. I will vote against them both.
The fourth amendment we will consider will require members of SCC and District Committees to “recuse themselves from consideration of any question in which a conflict of interest exists due to compensation by an elected official or candidate.” This should have been in the Party Plan all along, but there are enough SCC members who have such conflicts that the best we could get was a requirement to report the conflict, but no requirement of recusal. I will be voting in favor of this long overdue measure.
The only way amendments 1 and 4 will ever be adopted is if enough convention delegates vote for them. Too many SCC members look at factors other than the good of the voters for us to ever get the necessary three-fourths majority of SCC to make these needed changes. I firmly believe that my choices will bring the greatest good to the Party, more importantly to Virginia, and by extension to the United States of America.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.