More turmoil in the Virgin Island Republican Party erupted Tuesday as the GOP chair there announced the disqualification of six delegates that had been selected to represent the territory at the Republican convention and the elevation of new delegates in their place.
The now-disqualified delegates include GOP strategist John Yob, along with his wife Erica and Lindsey Eilon, who were all already the subject of scrutiny after allegations that Yob had falsified information on his voter application. Virgin Island GOP Chairman John Canegata issued a statement Tuesday saying the Yobs, Eilon and three other delegates had been replaced over a violation of Virgin Islands Republican Party rule which says delegates must within five days of the caucus “confirm in writing, that he or she accepts election” and that they are “willing and able” attend the Republican National Convention.
“The party rules commanded me to inform the Republican National Committee of this automatic action, which I did in a letter to chairman Reince Priebus,” Canegata said in a statement.
According to Time Magazine’s Zeke Miller, Yob issued a statement accusing Canegata of acting like a “dictator.”
“He has unfortunately decided once again to either not read the rules or not follow the rules,” Yob said.
Yob responds! “”The Chairman is not a dictator and can not unilaterally break the USVI GOP rules” pic.twitter.com/fWLHCuGQ4l
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) March 22, 2016
If the disqualification stands, Yob and the five other delegates — who were elected as uncommitted delegates — will be replaced by two Marco Rubio delegates (the caucus took place before Rubio dropped out), two uncommitted delegates, a Donald Trump delegate, and a Ted Cruz delegate.
The Yobs had been selected earlier this month but only after another controversy. Jon Yob was accused of trying to register to vote in the Virgin Islands before he had lived there for 90 days, as is required. Finding against Yob, U.S. Virgin Island supervisor of elections Caroline Fawkes had ruled Yob ineligible to vote in the delegate caucus and thus ineligible to appear on the ballot. However, on the day of the territory’s GOP delegate caucus, a judge issued a temporary restraining order on the decision, allowing Yob, his wife and Lindsey Eilon and her husband Ethan to appear on the ballot. (Ethan was not elected in the caucus.)
Even before the controversy over his selection as a Virgin Island delegate, Yob was a somewhat well-known figure in Republican Party, having worked for the campaigns of Rand Paul, John McCain and Rick Santorum. He was allegedly punched by a Marco Rubio-aide in a Michigan bar last September. He also wrote a book called Chaos: The Outsider’s Guide to a Contested Republican National Convention released in February that promised readers a guide to “the key players, the important rules, and the critical states that will determine the winner on the convention floor.”