For Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, winning the Virginia primary in March was an important step in the process, but two months later, a new Trump versus Ted Cruz battle is playing out in the commonwealth.
The Virginia GOP convention got off to a raucous start Friday. It's a scaled down version of what some Republicans envision if there is a contested national convention in July.
A contested convention is what former Loudoun County Delegate David Ramadan wants. He’s firmly in the never Trump camp.
First Read — DMV
A place for insight, analysis and exclusives on the people who shape politics in the District, Maryland and Virginia.
“Based on principles, Trump in my mind is not a conservative and not a Republican, and yes, I’m a never Trump,” he said.
Virginia’s convention may matter because Virginia sends 49 delegates to the national convention. On the first ballot, all must proportionally reflect the vote of the March 1 primary. But if there is a contested convention and a second ballot, those delegates are unbound and can vote for the candidate of their choice. Thirteen of the delegates will be chosen Saturday, and Ted Cruz supporters are trying to win a majority of them. Ramadan expects Cruz to win at least 10 of them.
Trump supporter Isabella Hale is convinced Trump will wrap things up well before the convention.
“He’s the presumptive nominee and I’m going with it,” she said.
Del. Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax County) believes that even though Virginia Republicans are still in a fierce fight, the party won’t splinter.
“In the end, I'm fully convinced the people will say we've had our differences, that was a fight within the family, now it's time to get onto the general election,” he said. “Hillary Clinton has got to be defeated.”