Republicans Enter Final Stretch of Nomination Contest

May 4, 2021

Seven people hoping to be the Republican nominee for governor are making their final cases to delegates ahead of an unassembled convention on Saturday.

At a campaign event for Delegate Kirk Cox, Betsy Beamer stood near a spread of grilled veggies and charcuterie.

Kirk Cox campaigns in Henrico County in the last week before the GOP convention
Credit Jahd Khalil

“It's Monday night. Saturday is the nomination contest. So its time to get together,” she said. “Republicans truly think this is an opportunity to take back the state house. There's a Democratic majority in the House of Delegates now, and so many progressive things have passed. We just don't want to keep going down that path in Virginia. It's really important to get the governor's mansion back.”

Cox is one of seven people hoping to be the Republican nominee for governor. Other candidates include State Senator Amanda Chase of Chesterfield, Retired Army Colonel Sergio De La Peña, former Ronaoke Sheriff Octavia Johnson, and three businesmen: Peter Doran, Glenn Youngkin, and Pete Snyder.

Almost 54,000 delegates are signed up to be delegates in the unassembled convention Republicans will use to choose their nominee. Many have decided on their candidate of choice but Martin Evans hasn't made his mind yet.

“I want to learn about who the candidates are, and I want to see them in person and be able to make up my own mind about who they are and what they represent,” he said, standing near the bar as classic rock played.

Republicans are using a method called ranked-choice voting in the convention. Delegates will choose their first and second choice, down to the seventh candidate, eventually nominating someone that is more of a consensus nominee.

Delegates will vote at 39 locations across the Commonwealth on Saturday. After that their ballots will be taken to Richmond, where counting could last several days.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.