A woman walked up to a home in Virginia on Wednesday and claimed to work for the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) as she tried to sign the homeowner up to be a statewide convention delegate. RPV officials say that this woman is not involved with the party at all, however, as they continue to prepare for the convention to choose their nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.
The woman was actually employed by a consulting firm on behalf of a gubernatorial campaign and has resigned her position after a video of her encounter with the homeowner was posted online Wednesday.
In the video that was filmed by a Ring doorbell camera, the woman can be heard asking the homeowner for her personal information to fill out a form to become a convention delegate.
“I am working with the Republican Party in Virginia,” the woman said to the homeowner. “Would you mind filling this out? For the voting process now, we have to get your name, your address, and your phone number, and just a quick signature.”
“For what?” replied the homeowner.
“It is for so when you go to vote this year — because of COVID and everything they are doing it a little bit differently, you can’t just walk in and vote, you need to pre-register here and then they give you a time for you to go. You just can drive up and vote really quick and leave,” the woman said.
“Is this for a particular candidate?” the homeowner asked.
“It is for the Republican Party, not for a particular candidate,” the woman responded.
The homeowner is a member of the Republican State Central Committee and she knew that RPV was not involved with this type of action. In an interview, she said she knows it is up to the local GOP units and the candidates themselves to reach out and register Republican voters so they can become delegates and participate in the nomination convention on May 8.
Rich Anderson, the chairman of RPV said in an interview Wednesday that the woman attempting to collect signatures in the video in no way representing RPV. “I’ve been trying to do due diligence to identify who this young lady works for, which we haven’t been able to determine,” Anderson said. “She appears to be an inexperienced teenager.”
Later in the video, the homeowner asked for confirmation from the woman as to who she was employed by. “And you work for RPV?”
“Yeah,” the woman responded, before providing more context. “Well, I work for Vanguard Field Services but it is for the Republican Party.”
Vanguard Field Services does not exist. Vanguard Field Strategies, however, is a widely-known field organization that falls under the umbrella of the GOP mega-consultant Axiom Strategies.
After several tips that Axiom Strategies works with Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign, Virginia Scope contacted Youngkin’s staff for a response to the video. “Vanguard was engaged by the Youngkin campaign to help voters understand the Republican Party convention process,” said a spokesperson for the campaign. “We immediately brought this video to Vanguard’s attention because it was unacceptable and did not meet the standards of our agreement or the standards of our campaign. We demanded and are assured that Vanguard took appropriate actions.”
The president of Vanguard also provided Virginia Scope with a statement. “Vanguard takes full responsibility for this individual’s failure to adhere to Vanguard’s training guidelines, and we immediately recalled her from the field upon seeing this video. It was this individual’s first day and this was one of the first homes she visited. She was the only individual trained by Vanguard this morning and she has resigned her position. This morning, she visited 23 homes and collected 5 forms, and our team has already contacted those voters to ensure they have peace of mind that their form will be handled properly. Vanguard is redoubling our training efforts to ensure our team is properly identifying themselves as representatives of the Youngkin campaign and properly explaining the convention process to Republicans who say they want to vote.”
The Youngkin campaign said that they will continue to make sure that their campaign and the vendors they employ will “adhere to the high ethical standards that Glenn expects and Virginia Republicans deserve.”
Anderson declined to comment any further.
The video of the encounter can be viewed below:
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