Virginia Republicans have set their ticket for this fall’s statewide elections.
Party leaders say this is the largest crowd to attend a Republican Party of Virginia convention in at least a decade. About 11,000 people are in the capital city this weekend to select candidates. There’s a sense of urgency surrounding this convention, as many Republicans hope to rebuild their party from a series of tough election losses and a history of bitter in-fighting.
Unlike state Democrats, the RPV uses a convention to nominate candidates. Delegates are elected to represent each jurisdiction across the Commonwealth. This year, those representatives cast ballots for candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and state party chairman.
Delegates officially tapped Bob McDonnell as the party’s nominee for governor. This was merely a formality, since McDonnell was unopposed for the nod.
They selected Bill Bollingto run for another term as lieutenant governor. Bolling was challenged by Patrick Muldoon, who tried to paint himself as the more conservative of the two.
State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax)will be the Republican candidate for attorney general. He beat out former federal prosecutor John Brownlee and Dave Foster, an attorney from Arlington County, for the nomination.
Many political observers had their eyes focused on the battle for the RPV chairmanship. Louisa County’s Pat Mullins has served in that role since the beginning of May, appointed after the party’s central committee ousted then-chairman Jeffrey Frederick. Mullins was challenged for the post by one of Frederick’s closest supporters, Bill Stanley, a Rocky Mount lawyer. As a side note, Stanley was also closely-allied with former Rep. Virgil Goode(R-VA 05). Ultimately, delegates decided to keep Mullins as party chairman.
We’ll have more about the specifics of all these races in the coming weeks.