Parties differ on nomination method for statewide offices

Virginia’s Republicans will be voting through a process of an unassembled convention on May 8, and Virginia’s Democrats will be voting through the primary method on June 8.


        Voters will soon be choosing their party’s candidates for a number of Virginia state offices, including governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general and Virginia House of Delegates. The Democratic Party will be hosting a primary election on June 8. The Republican Party has chosen the route of an unassembled convention on May 8. If you’re a registered voter in Virginia and wish to vote for the candidate your party will send to the general election, the process for each party is outlined below.

In December 2020, the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) controversially voted to hold a convention instead of a primary. The RPV State Convention will be held as an ‘unassembled convention’ this year due to the coronavirus, which makes it impossible for the convention to gather in person. State Sen. Amanda Chase (R) filed suit against the RPV, arguing that the convention is illegal under current executive orders instituted by Governor Ralph Northam regarding COVID-19, but the lawsuit was dismissed.

On May 8, between the hours of 9am-4pm, locations across Virginia will be open for delegates to come and cast their votes in person. There will be seven candidates on the ballot for governor. These include current state Sen. Amanda Chase, current state Delegate Kirk Cox, former CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis Peter Doran, former Roanoke County Sheriff Octavia Johnson, self-styled “Conservative Colonel” and Air Force veteran Sergio de la Pena, entrepreneur Pete Snyder and former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group Glenn Youngkin.

If you wish to be a delegate in this convention, you must register by your locality’s deadline with the Delegate Filing Form. You will need to send your information by email or mail to your unit chairman, so that they can finish the registration process for you. Virginia Beach residents had until April 7 to submit their paperwork. 

Without submitting the Delegate Filing Form, you will not be able to vote for which candidates progress to the general elections for the Republican Party.

The process for Democratic voters is somewhat more simplistic. A primary election will be held at your normal voting locations on June 8, and will be conducted much like the general election. Current Governor Ralph Northam (D) is unable to run for office again under Virginia state law, which prohibits governors holding the seat for two consecutive terms.

Previous Governor Terry McAuliffe is the frontrunner for the Democratic Party, although he has several challengers, including current Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax. Other candidates include ex-Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, current Delegate Lee J. Carter, and current state Sen. Jennifer McClellan.

By Brianna Sandy