Virginia Republicans decide to end open primary
June 15th, 2012
06:52 PM ET
10 years ago

Virginia Republicans decide to end open primary

(CNN) – Members of the Republican Party of Virginia's State Central Committee voted Friday to eliminate the statewide primary in favor of a party convention vote to choose its nominees in the upcoming 2013 campaign.

The move comes in the middle of a campaign for the party's nominee for governor between Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, supported by many state GOP leaders, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a tea party favorite.

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"I am disappointed in the State Central Committee's decision, which will effectively disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Virginia Republicans, and all active duty military personnel, from participating in the nomination of our candidates. If we want to grow our party we have to involve more people in the nomination of our candidates, not fewer; and I believe that we do that through primaries, not party conventions," Bolling said in a statement. "This decision creates the impression that our party is an exclusive party, as opposed to an inclusive party, and that is not the message we should be sending to the people of Virginia."

Political analysts see the change as a boost to Cuccinelli, a leader among state attorneys general to overturn President Barack Obama's health care law. Bolling has the backing of party establishment, including endorsements from Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who represents Virginia's 7th district.

Both candidates for governor made clear on Friday they respect the vote and will work within the new structure to obtain the party's nomination next year.

"We have made it clear from the beginning that we were prepared to run and win in whichever method of nomination the State Central Committee decided was best for the party," said Noah Wall, political director of Cuccinelli's campaign. "We will aggressively pursue a convention strategy for 2013 – however until November our political focus is aimed at making sure we win Virginia for George Allen, Mitt Romney and our congressional candidates."

The committee voted 47-31 with one abstention to change the process. While the vote was split, the debate during the meeting was very cordial, according to the state party.

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Filed under: Republicans • Virginia
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. &&&&&&

    get over it

    June 15, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |

    Another Gop bafoon party attempt to fix elections to get their own bafoons in .this disgrace of a party needs to be destroyed in Nov .

    June 15, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. porchhound

    The Tea Party obituary was premature. The OLD GUARD Republican establishment will soon be history as these RINO fossils lumber towards the tar pit of extinction.

    June 15, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    If cuchimamma is attached to anything it's bad for Virginia and it's bad for the US.

    June 15, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans disenfranchising voters is nothing new. Actually, voter fraud in Iowa, Missouri, Maine, Nevada etc, during the republican primaries is what the GOP does best.

    June 15, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    ...making sure we win Virginia for George Allen, Mitt Romney and our congressional candidates."

    None of the above will happen!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    June 15, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. Niko_in_Richmond

    Leave it to the Republicans to change the rules in the middle of the game. I understand a desire to make adjustments to how things are being done, but to do it in the middle of an election campaign? It smells of a move to ensure that your desired candidate wins.

    June 15, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. CBR

    Everything that Republicans are now saying revolves around the rights of the citizens and voters. That is until they decide to make a change that takes the decisions away from the voters and into the hands of party operatives.

    June 15, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. Jim

    There is no length the republicans will not go to to steal the election, even from their own party because it's not extreme enough for them.

    June 16, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  10. Donkey Party

    Typical GOP vote rigging. No surprise here.

    June 16, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  11. Leonard from Arizona

    To Virginia Lt. Gov Bolling, who was quoted in part, as saying, "This decision creates the impression that our party is an exclusive party, as opposed to an inclusive party..."

    Please. The Republican Party of today (or the past as well) is anything but inclusive. Give it up already, no one is going to believe it anymore.

    June 16, 2012 05:48 am at 5:48 am |

    What a surprise. The unhinged GOBP hate Americans who vote and will stop them anyway they can.

    June 16, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  13. Alex in Wisconsin

    Republicans disenfranchising voters? Ya don't say. Tell me more Lt. Governor Bolling (R-VA)? Surely this is just a fabrication of the Socialist, left wing, Lame-stream media. Surely

    June 16, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  14. TNPatriot

    Koch Brothers don't want to take any chances that republican voters may 'wake up' and see how they are being duped. After all, it is cheaper for them to 'buy' a few hundred delegates than to actually spend all those $Millions on campaign donations. Next they will be looking for the answer to eliminating all voting so that they can simply 'hire' the political leaders of their choice.

    June 16, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. Jewels

    Lived there - while it's beautiful, I don't like that place.

    June 16, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |