(Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee meeting on Januard 23, 2021.)

The Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee met once again on Saturday morning to try and finalize details on the nomination process for statewide candidates.

Another push for a primary ultimately failed after several hours of parliamentary procedure and debate.

The committee eventually went into an executive session which was not available for the public to view. The reason was to discuss the fiscal impact of a convention for the Republican Party of Virginia. The Republican Party of Virginia reported only having $1,514 cash on hand at the end of 2020, however, candidate fees will cover a large portion of the convention costs.

After meeting for the entire day, the committee moved to have Chairman Rich Anderson call the committee back to complete the meeting in the next few days. Anderson has to give the committee members notice of at least 72 hours prior to reconvening; he told them to expect to hear from him by noon on Monday.

“If Republicans don’t come up with some direction and rules soon I’m going to start the Patriot Party here in Virginia. I will not follow a parked bus,” wrote Amanda Chase (Chesterfield), one of the Republican gubernatorial candidates. “A house divided will not stand no matter what nomination method is chosen. I’m prepared to win either. Let’s make some final decisions and roll. I’m moving ahead either way.”

You can view an in-depth Twitter thread of the meeting as it happened here.

Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas)

Hearing on ballot signature requirements

There is a hearing taking place Monday in the lawsuit of Goldman/Carter v VA Dept of Elections. Lieutenant Governor candidate Paul Goldman (D-Richmond) and gubernatorial candidate Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas) are both asking the Court to reduce the number of signatures required to qualify for the June Democratic primary from 10,000 to 2,000 for candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General and to eliminate the requirement to collect at least 400 signatures in each congressional district.

“UVA’s most recent adaptive model predictions for COVID-19 spread during the petition collection window are frightening,” said Carter. “We’re talking about weekly peaks that could be ten times higher than those we saw this summer.”

Goldman and Carter also asked the Court to order the implementation of electronic petition signature collection and to declare it unconstitutional that ballot placement of primary candidates is based on the time of filing signatures.

The suit cites a March decision by Richmond Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant to reduce the signature requirement for the Republican primary for U.S. Senate from 10,000 to 3,500 as requested by candidate Omari Faulkner. In April, a federal U.S. District Court judge in Michigan cited Faulkner in ordering Michigan to reduce its petition requirements and implement an electronic means of petition gathering.

Goldman sent out an email on Sunday providing an update from his point of view:

“Defendants and Plaintiffs in the Goldman/Carter v VA Dept of Elections case have finally come to same conclusion:  it would be a good idea in the midst of a pandemic to legalize the collection of electronic signatures by those seeking to qualify as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Gov, LG, and AG in the June Democratic primary. They also have come to the same place as regards the precise number of valid signatures required to get on said ballot and the particular process to be authorized for the collection and submission of said signatures by electronic means. There remains however a third issue, unrelated to those two above, that must be settled or dismissed before a binding agreement can be signed. This has proven to be a sticking point. Hearing on the lawsuit is tomorrow at 10am. “

The hearing is scheduled for Monday morning. There will be an update in the next newsletter.

Chase says she was not allowed to participate in a gubernatorial forum without wearing a mask or shield.

Amanda Chase said the organizers for the gubernatorial forum sponsored by the Family Foundation Action and Middle-Resolution told her on Friday night that she could not participate if she did not wear a mask the entire time.

Chase said she has a doctor’s note stating that she cannot wear a mask or shield for medical reasons. “I will pass out,” she said if she wears a mask or a shield for a long period of time.

“I was scheduled to leave the Fredericksburg gun show early today to attend but was told Friday night that unless I wore a mask or shield I could not participate,” Chase said in an interview Sunday night. “For medical reasons, I can’t wear a shield for long periods of time so I chose to decline, stay at the gun show where they did make accommodations.”

Chase said she did record a three-minute video and the organizers played it at the event. In the video, she said she was not there in person because of a prior commitment. “I was afraid they wouldn’t play the video if I told the truth.”

Senator Chase also said that she sent a representative from her campaign to attend the event with a mask, but that he was not allowed to stay. “I sent my campaign staffer to serve as my representative, he wore a mask, and he was told to leave the property,” Chase said Sunday night. “Unbelievable.”

Organizers did not respond to requests for comment Sunday night.

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