Lawsuit: Governor, Attorney General ‘Heavily Armed’ Republican Primary Change to Convention
Released at 3:50 pm on Friday, March 24, 2023
Republican officials’ lawsuit alleges that Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Virginia Attorney General Jason Myares illegally interfered in the way Republican candidates were selected to run for the state’s newly created 17th Senate district. are doing.
Dawn Jones, identified in the complaint as chairman of the party’s 17th District Legislative Committee, filed the lawsuit in Richmond’s Circuit Court on March 16. She cites as defendants the Virginia Elections Office, the State Elections Commission, and Elections Commissioner Susan Beals.
Beals’ March 9 letter to the local elections commission listed a list of Republican primaries on June 20, with 27 Senate elections scheduled, including the 17th. However, his nearly identical letter of 10 March indicated primaries for only 26 races, 17 of which were no longer included.
Rep. Emily Brewer, R-Isle of Wight, is running for the party’s nomination against retired NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler (Emporia). The new districts created in 2021 based on the 2020 Census will include 10 districts, including Isle of Wight County. The legislative district committees on the 17th are made up of each local Republican chairman.
Jones’ lawsuit determined that she, as chairman of the committee, would hold the state on March 9 and the primary on June 20, but that Youngkin and Myares, through their representatives, “strongly enforced” the elections office. He claims to have sent a notice that he was armed. Change the method back to convention after a day.
The primaries will be open to all voters regardless of party affiliation in each region from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on June 20, and voters will also have the option to vote early or absentee. will be Conventions, on the other hand, are held at specific locations and times and do not necessarily coincide with other major races. ” must be filled in.
Since the beginning of the month, conflicting information has emerged from states and candidates regarding Bulwer-Saddler’s race. On March 1, Sadler announced that the Legislative Committee of the 17th Congress had voted to hold a primary election, and Republicans voted March 2 because the committee lacked enough members to form a quorum. Eight days later, citing Beals’ March 9 letter, Sadler announced he would hold the primary again, but the state election Authorities disputed his claims.
Jones’ lawsuit alleges that “certain senior Republican officials” “work to endorse” one candidate over another.
These officials “included the governor and attorney general,” and “we believe a smaller convention would favor this candidate more than the primary,” Jones’ lawsuit claims.
Sadler made a similar allegation to the Smithfield Times on March 10, arguing that the change from the primary to the convention would favor Brewer.
The Republican Party’s official call to the 17th Senate District Convention on June 3 at Paul D. Camp Community College’s Franklin Campus will allow Suffolk to win up to 315 delegates and 10 districts in the 17th District. the most common among Each Republican branch is allowed one delegate vote for every 500 Republican votes. When all 315 Suffolk delegates are present, each delegate’s vote is worth one fifth of his vote. This is because Suffolk is allocated her 63 votes out of the district’s overall 182 votes.
Suffolk has the most weighted votes, so the Suffolk Republican chairman can “manage the mass rallies” at the convention and decide “who can vote,” Sadler said in an email on March 10. Stated.
The Virginia Republican Party website lists Steve Trent as the chairman of the Suffolk Republican Party. Trent donated his $500 to Brewer in December, according to campaign finance reports.
Trent, formerly chairman of the Suffolk Republican Party, was recently re-elected as party leader through the efforts of the Legislative Committee for the Second Congressional District, Sadler claimed.
A March 1 statement on the Suffolk Republican Party’s Facebook page by Jones, who identifies himself as the “legitimate chairman” of the Suffolk Republican Party, said Dennis Free, chairman of the Republican Committee for the Second Congressional District, said: claiming to be seeking to “dissolve” the Suffolk chapter on the basis of That the unit has become “malfunctioning”. Jones characterized the move as an “intimidation tactic” to “suppress conservative members.”
Trent responded to The Times on March 24, saying he was unaware of the pending lawsuit and deferred comment to state Republican spokesman Ken Nunenkamp. Flea did not immediately respond to The Times either.
The District 2 Committee, made up of city and county leaders from the Jenn Quigans congressional district, will share updates from Brewer’s campaign, including Brewer’s recent endorsement by the Isle of Wight County Board of Education chairman, on Facebook. shared on the page. John Corick.
Mr. Jones’ lawsuit alleges that without state interference, “a blackletter law states that political parties are private organizations with the right to freedom of association under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
Jones, represented by Lynchburg attorney Rick Boyer, filed additional court filings seeking an “expedited hearing” on March 24. A hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. on March 27, according to the Richmond Circuit Court website.
Election Service spokeswoman Andrea Gaines, who described Beals’ March 10 letter as a “correction,” declined to comment on the Jones lawsuit. Youngkin’s publicist, Macaulay Porter, also declined to comment on the matter, as did Miyares’ publicist, Victoria Lacivita.
In a statement to The Times on March 24, Brewer said the decision to select the convention as the method of nomination was made on December 27, citing the official convention, which is now published on the Virginia Republican Party’s website. It claimed that the call was issued on March 8.
“Both myself and my opponent are working to collect delegate forms for the upcoming competition,” Brewer said. “I am proud to be the tried and tested Conservative candidate in this election.”
In a March 24 statement to The Times, Sadler said, “Our team is prepared to win this nomination, whether it’s decided in the primary or at the convention.
“I applaud this move for transparency in the electoral system,” Sadler said of the Jones lawsuit. “Seats in the General Assembly belong to the people, not the elite, and they should be informed of what is going on.”
Brewer, who has definitively represented the Republican 64th Congressional District since 2017, leaned slightly Democratic in the 2021 redistricting process, based on an analysis of the Virginia Public Access Project vote share. was moved to the new Suffolk-heavy 84th constituency. From the 2021 gubernatorial election. Brewer announced last year that he would instead seek a seat in the new Senate District 17. Months later, Sadler announced his own candidacy, calling himself a “conservative outsider.”