The delegates from the U.S. Virgin Islands who were elected in the March 10 Republican caucus filed suit Friday against the territory’s GOP chairman, alleging he is improperly blocking them from assuming their official role as delegates.
“He refuses to preform the non-discretionary act of certifying the correct results of the Caucus to the RNC as required by Rule 20 of the RNC Rules,” reads the complaint filed in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.
The lead plaintiff is Holland Redfield, the Virgin Islands Republican Party national committeeman. He is joined by the six delegates elected at the caucus: John P. Yob, Gwen Brady, Warren B. Cole, Erica L. Yob, George Loga and Lindsey Eilon. The defendant is John Canegata, the GOP chairman of the Virgin Islands.
This is just the latest escalation in the battle between the delegates elected in the caucus and the chairman of the party. Canegata has put forward a competing slate of delegates alleging that the six elected in March were no longer eligible to serve as delegates because they did not follow a party rule which requires “individuals to ‘confirm, in writing, that he or she accepts election’ and are ‘willing and able’ to attend the 2016 Republican National Convention.”
The chairman released a statement calling the lawsuit “frivolous.”
“The law of the land is clear: Republican Party rules—not courts—govern Republican Party procedure, according to established U.S. Supreme Court precedent,” Canegata said. “This frivolous lawsuit, which was leaked to journalists in Washington before it was even served, is nothing more than an act of desperation by the same people who failed to follow basic rules and even swore false oaths in their attempt to cause, in their own words, chaos at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.”