GOP Insiders Take a Beating at Virginia Convention

FedUp PAC Staff

All the manipulations of Republican insiders were in vain on Saturday as the Virginia Republican convention chose a slate of delegates made up entirely of Cruz and Trump supporters to go to Cleveland in July. The victory came even though Cruz supporters in Virginia Beach and many Trump delegates broke away to support the delegate slate endorsed by John Kasich’s campaign. Fortunately, constitutional conservatives and other outsiders had such a large majority that even those defections could not prevent the Cruz-Trump delegates from coming away with a victory.

The delegate list is headed by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Ginni Thomas. Cuccinelli is perhaps the man most hated by the Virginia GOP establishment. Finding that he would not “play ball” with them as a state senator and attorney general, the establishment abandoned him during his 2013 race for governor, which he lost by just 2% of the vote. The establishment preferred Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of Hillary Clinton, in the governor’s mansion instead of a principled conservative.

Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is a leading conservative activist in her own right, having worked at the Heritage Foundation and founded Liberty Central.

Although Kasich and Marco Rubio won the first-round votes of twenty-one out of 49 delegates in the March 1 primary, Cruz and Trump have so far monopolized the actual delegate selection in Virginia. If the convention goes to a second ballot, those required to vote for Kasich or Rubio on the first ballot will be free to support Cruz or Trump.

Leaders of both the Cruz and Trump campaigns also joined in support the election of constitutional conservative Cynthia Dunbar as National Committeewoman. Dunbar defeated Suzanne Obenshain, a member of one of the most powerful families in Virginia’s Republican Party.

Morton Blackwell, who has been a leader in fight against any rules change that might allow a last-minute establishment candidate to win a brokered convention, was easily re-elected as National Committeeman. That was a strong sign that Virginia Republicans want the National Convention to choose its nominee from among those who have campaigned for the presidency this year, not someone who emerges at a deadlocked convention.