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Republicans Gather in Richmond for Convention - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Republicans Gather in Richmond for Convention

Thousands of Virginia Republicans are descending on Richmond this weekend with one goal in mind - to nominate their candidates for statewide office.

Thirteen-thousand Republican delegates, from all corners of the commonwealth, are going to downtown Richmond this weekend for the 2013 Republican Convention. They will choose their candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

The race toward November is moving ahead at full speed. Friday and Saturday, GOP faithful will flood the Richmond Coliseum to make some big decisions.

They will officially nominate Ken Cuccinelli as the Republican candidate for governor. They will also choose between seven different candidates for lieutenant governor. And then, there's the race for attorney general.

"We've been at this for a year and a half, we've put 70,000 miles on the car. Here it is, and it will all be done by tomorrow," said Del. Rob Bell, Albemarle delegate and candidate for attorney general.

"It's been a lot of hard work, a lot of miles, and good to see the weekend finally arrive," said Mark Obenshain, Harrisonburg Senator and candidate for attorney general.

After lengthy campaigns, Bell and Obenshain will go head to head Saturday afternoon, hoping to win their party's nomination for attorney general.

"That's the thing about a convention format, it's just really tough to make any kinds of predictions, because really anything can happen," said Geoff Skelley, political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Skelley says the race for attorney general is still a toss-up.

"I think it's really tough to say exactly what's going to happen with that race," he said.

Both Bell and Obenshain are seen as conservative candidates - and neither is from a major urban area - but the candidates themselves say that won't matter in Saturday's vote.

"I don't think it makes any difference whether you're from Charlottesville or Harrisonburg, as long as you can connect on those bread-and-butter issues," Obenshain said.

"We think it's real close, and we think that there will be undecided voters that walk in over the course of the next 36 hours that make up their mind. So it's very nerve-wracking, but it's very exciting," Bell said.

Friday, delegates will be briefed on the convention rules and procedural issues. Then Saturday, is when the ball really gets rolling. That's when all candidates will make their seven-minute presentations before delegates cast their votes that afternoon.

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