LCRC Appeal Denied

LCRC Appeal Denied

New convention call could allow more candidates to enter county races.

There is still no official word on whether the Loudoun County Republican Party (LCRC) will be forced to issue a new convention call, opening the door for new candidates to run for Republican nominations.

Thursday, March 29, an appeals committee upheld the ruling by John Padgett, the general council of the Republican Party of Virginia, that LCRC’s convention call was invalid. The local committee, however, can still challenge the ruling.

In a letter to state chairman Ed Gillespie March 23, Padgett said the Loudoun County committee’s call for its June 9 convention conflicted with the party plan for Republican Party of Virginia.

Paul Protic, chairman of the LCRC, announced at the committee’s March 26 meeting he would appeal Padgett’s decision.

Following the March 29 denial, the committee's only options would be to issue a new convention call or take its appeal to the State Central Committee for review, Shaun Kenney, communications director for the Republican Party of Virginia, said.

IN HIS MARCH 23 letter, Padgett wrote, "It is the official ruling of the party council that the call is not valid, and should be substantially rewritten and republished to be in compliance with the party plan."

Padgett maintained that there were differences between the committee’s published call, which appeared in the Leesburg Today, and the online version.

Padgett also said that the Loudoun committee failed to include membership requirements in the state party in the convention call. The requirements include the stipulation that a voter participating in the Republican convention could not have participated in the nominating process for any other party and that the voter renounce any association with another party.

"The LCRC call has deviated substantially from the requirements for participation as stated by the party plan," Padgett wrote.

In a release stating the committee’s intent to appeal, Protic said the time to challenge the convention call had passed before Padgett’s ruling. He said he believed the committee has given sufficient notices for the call.

"The requirements to reissue our call and reopen the filing process are expensive, burdensome and unfair to the LCRC, the candidates and delegates in comparison to the minor and technical nature of the alleged violations in the call," Protic wrote in his statement.

Suzanne Volpe, first vice chairman of the LCRC, said there is an ongoing dialogue between the committee and the state party.

"We are working with the Republican Party of Virginia to come up with an amicable solution on the technical issues," she said.

There is still time to issue a new call before the committee’s scheduled June 9 convention. If another call is issued, new candidates could file to run for the Board of Supervisors, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Treasurer and Sheriff. Once a decision is made, new candidates would have seven days with which to file with the party.

— Erika Jacobson