Two warring parties of Virgin Island Republicans finally got a resolution to their bizarre, months-long delegate saga Wednesday.
After months of legal battles, a violent meeting at a gun range in St. Croix and public chiding back and forth, the Republican National Committee’s Committee on Contests finally picked who the official delegates from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the Republican National Convention should be.
In an agreed to settlement, the committee declared Wednesday that John Yob – a Michigan-based GOP consultant turned Virgin Island resident and delegate who authored the book “Chaos: The Outsider’s Guide to a Contested Republican National Convention.” Yob – along with his wife and another Michigan pal– will now officially serve as delegates. The competing slate will be allowed to attend the convention, but won’t be eligible to vote for the next Republican presidential nominee.
Yob was elected in March, but a faction of the Virgin Islands Republican Party rejected his election and put forth its own slate, after allegations surfaced that Yob and the others had lied about their residency when they registered to vote and therefore were ineligible to be on the ballot.
The GOP chairman sought to kick Yob and others off the delegate slate because they had “failed to comply with rule 11,” a rule that required “individuals to ‘confirm, in writing, that he or she accepts election’ and that they are ‘willing and able’ to attend the 2016 Republican National Convention to be held in Cleveland, Ohio.”
But the RNC’s decision went even further than just allowing Yob to serve as an official delegate. As part of the new settlement, the RNC is also requiring that the Virgin Island Republican Party will have to have another election to re-select leadership after the tumultuous months. When asked if he was going to try and run for chairman of the party, Yob said it was still “too early” to make any decisions on that. The election must be held within 90 days.
“Chairman John Canegata must call a new territory-wide caucus or convention to occur within 90 days of the date of this Amended Report of all individuals who are registered to vote in the U.S. Virgin Islands and are registered as Republicans to elect a Territorial Committee Chairman, National Committeeman and National Committeewoman as well as members of the Territorial Committee.”
The national spotlight had been on the island party fight this spring when it looked as though there could be a contested convention in Cleveland.
“It is fair to say that I am very happy with this result and it is a total victory across
the board. I could not be more pleased that the correct delegates will be seated and an honest election with proper oversight will take place within the next 90 days to elect new leadership for the Virgin Islands Republican Party,” Yob said. “I strongly commend the committees and everyone involved for doing the
right thing to resolve this matter. It has been a long road but vigorously
defending the integrity of the nomination process and Republican Party
is essential and worth it.”