Virginia Republicans Opt for Primary Over Convention

Virginia Republicans have chosen a primary rather than a convention as the method of choosing the state's 2017 nominees for governor, lt. governor and attorney general.

The State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia made the selection on Saturday, returning to a primary system for the first time since 2005.

Virginia GOP Chairman John Witbeck said in a statement that the state's 2016 presidential primary was the highest turnout in the history of the state for either party.

"Enthusiasm for Republican candidates is at an all-time high and we expect this to continue in 2017," Witbeck said.

He added that the primary will allow Republican candidates to "expand our party's outreach as they campaign, as well as build our ground-game and test out our general election strategy."

In March, The Washington Post reported Henrico County Sheriff Mike Wade chose not to run against Rep. Dave Brat for Virginia's 7th congressional district in part because the contest would have been a convention.

“I would have had to bring a lot of people to the convention, and I didn’t want to bring a lot of friends to the convention,” Wade told the Post.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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