Despite a steady rain, Republicans in Northern Virginia turned out in strong numbers Saturday for the one-day party convention that will choose their candidate for the 11th District congressional election in November.
Unlike the state primary, Republicans in the party-run convention used rank choice voting by selecting their five preferred candidates and ranking them on a scale of 1-5.
“You get consensus behind your candidate. You know that your candidate is the consensus candidate of the electorate, because if they’re not somebody’s first choice, but they are their second choice, that gets taken into account,” said Mike Ginsberg, who was elected on Saturday to a two-year term as Republican Party chairman of the 11th congressional district.
“So when they get to that 50% plus one, you know you’ve a candidate with broad-based support in the party,” Ginsburg said.
The candidates seeking the party’s nomination (and the chance to challenge incumbent Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly) include Manga Anantatmula, Joseph Babb, Barbara Banks, Matthew Chappell and James Myles.
While Democrats outnumber Republicans in the 11th District, Ginsberg said the GOP’s numbers are growing.
“The 11th congressional district provides us a lot of opportunities, particularly in the next few cycles. The issue matrix is moving toward Republicans,” Ginsburg said. “Voters that haven’t previously voted for Republicans — different minority groups — Hispanic voters, Asian American voters … polls show that they are moving in our direction.”
Among the important issues cited by voters in this year’s convention were education, abortion, inflation, the economy and illegal immigration.