Warring Virgin Islands GOP Puts Forth Competing Delegations To Cleveland

April 11, 2016 3:03 p.m.

Two GOP factions in the U.S. Virgin Islands are clashing over who should attend what most expect to be the most contentious Republican convention in decades. The intra-party charade is playing out in a dramatic way in a year when a little-recognized U.S. territory could have an outsize role in a contested convention.

The warring factions in the deeply divided U.S. Virgin Islands Republican Party have each put forth their own slate of delegates the convention in Cleveland.

The latest move in the month’s old fight came Monday in the form of a press release from Republican National Committeeman Holland Redfield. He claimed that the delegation from the Virgin Islands has been selected and included nine people including six who received the most votes in a party contest in March. The delegates announced Monday, however, were not the same as those announced by U.S. Virgin Islands Republican Party Chairman John Canegata last month.

“I am honored to be elected the Chairman of the delegation from the United States Virgin Islands and I look forward to leading our delegation in Cleveland,” said Republican National Committeeman Holland Redfield. “I am very confident that the delegates who received the most votes will be properly seated and look forward to serving with these fine people.”

Canegata did not immediately return calls for comment, but in his own press release last month, he wrote that the six elected delegates — John P. Yob, Gwen Brady, Warren B. Cole, Erica L. Yob, George Loga and Lindsey Eilon — who had been selected during the Virgin Islands’ Republican caucus were ineligible because they “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.”

As of now, there are two separate slates of delegates coming from the Virgin Islands. Each has voted for a delegation chairman, representatives to the rules committee, the credentials committee, the organization committee and the platform committee. And the make up of each of the slates is vastly different.

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Those who were elected in the caucus are unbound. Meanwhile, as TPM wrote last month, the slate selected by the chairman of the party in the Virgin Islands includes “two Marco Rubio delegates (the caucus took place before Rubio dropped out), two uncommitted delegates, a Donald Trump delegate, and a Ted Cruz delegate.

Now, the slates each have to try and get their delegates officially selected by the Republican National Committee.

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