CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -After seeing significant losses statewide in recent years and with Democrats currently controlling all levers of power in Richmond, Republican chances of winning statewide may look slim, but one candidate says he can win.
Republicans will hold a drive-thru convention to nominate their candidates for this November’s election. State party officials made the decision on Tuesday night. Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder says he’s the person to do it regardless of the nomination process.
“I’m the only one in the field that’s run statewide before. I have a vast network all throughout the Republican Party and all throughout Virginia. So, we are putting Hatfields and McCoys together, we are uniting the party and we’re going to win this nomination, and we’re going to win in November,” he said.
Synder says he can win by building a coalition of seemingly disparate elements within the Republican Party.
“We’re putting all wings of the party together. That’s why I feel confident about winning the convention in May and I don’t really care about the playing field. You just tell me where to go, what the rules are, and we’ll get the job done,” Snyder said.
While Snyder says he has no preference, J. Miles Coleman with the University of Virginia Center for Politics says the party’s decision to hold a convention matters.
“These conventions you have to keep in mind that a lot of the time they are decided by the party’s insiders. Who has the most big-name endorsements? That would be Kirk Cox,” he said.
Still, Snyder plans to make his case by blasting Democrats for what he says is a misguided focus and rolling out his priorities if elected.
“If you’d looked at the agenda of the General Assembly you wouldn’t know we’re in a global pandemic, they are focused on the wrong things. We need to open our schools and open them now. We need to save the backbone of our economy and the heartbeat of our community in small business, and we need to restore the rights of law-abiding citizens for a change,” Snyder said.
Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg released a statement in response to Snyder’s comments, saying in part:
“Virginia Democrats have been working hard to get our commonwealth through this devastating pandemic and reopen our schools safely. Reopening schools safely is a critical priority, which is why I’ve been working hard to advance real legislation to get it done in a thoughtful way that includes public health guardrails. Our majority has been laser-focused on beating COVID-19 and addressing the hardships Virginia families and small businesses face during this pandemic and economic crisis.”
Republicans will hold their convention in May at Liberty University in Lynchburg.