Michigan Political Operative John Yob Wins Virgin Islands’ Delegate Slot

Trunk Bay is nestled on the island of St. John, United States Virgin Island in this undated photo. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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John Yob, the well-known Michigan operative who at one point was ruled ineligible to vote over questions about his residency in the Virgin Islands, was elected Thursday as an unbound delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Yob’s wife, Erica, and Lindsey Eilon, who also were declared ineligible because of residency issues, were also elected.

As three of the nine total delegates announced Thursday night, this gives the three individuals the chance to influence what could be a chaotic convention. Yob knows plenty about contested conventions. He recently published a book titled “Chaos: The Outsider’s Guide to a Contested Republican National Convention.”

All three of them were still on the ballot Thursday and allowed to vote after a judge granted them a temporary restraining order against the Virgin Island board of elections that had previously disqualified them from voting.

In a statement to TPM on Friday, Yob said that he “was honored to be selected as a national convention delegate and look[ed] forward to participating in what is sure to be a very exciting convention in Cleveland.”

He also rejected allegations that he and his wife were interlopers to the island.

“We have been coming to the Virgin Islands for a very long time and last year finally made it our home,” Yob said. “Our children absolutely love their school and we are thankful to the vast majority of Virgin Islanders who have welcomed us to the community. It is important to encourage more families and job creators to travel to the Virgin Islands, experience paradise, and consider making it your home as well!”

All six delegates elected Thursday night were unbound meaning that they can vote for any candidate they choose at the 2016 Republican Convention. (The remaining three delegates from the Virgin Islands are party officials who are automatically delegates.) If no candidate manages to win the majority of the delegates before July, unbound delegates could be major power brokers at the convention.

“Uncommitted delegates are free agents at the convention and able to support the candidate of our choice on the 1st ballot and on important matters such as Rule 40(b) ballot access. This gives the Virgin Islands tremendous relevance at the national convention and uniting behind our delegation and party leaders is critical,” Yob said in his statement.

Rule 40 requires that any individual who is selected as the nominee at the Republican Convention must have won the majority of delegates in at least eight states.

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