Letter to the Editor: Providing answers to a few questions

Published 9:43 am Friday, May 26, 2023

Editor’s note: Tom Garrett won the Republican nomination for the Virginia House District 56 seat during the party’s convention on Saturday, May 20. Kevin Bailey was another one of the candidates on the ballot. 

I congratulate Tom Garrett for winning the nomination to serve House District 56 as our next State Delegate to Richmond. We appreciate Garrett having Jennie Wood and me on stage after

the vote was final.

Email newsletter signup

In particular I want to tell the volunteers and first time convention attendees how much I appreciate them. We signed up more first time delegates than any other campaign, and so

we also wanted to provide some answers to questions we’ve been receiving from many of those first time delegates. We want to provide answers to assure those who have questioned, that unlike some – Republicans know how to run a fair election. 

While we understand our supporters feel some tactics during the past couple of months were unfair, convention officials on Saturday made sure it was fair and the rules were followed. We will summarize each question we have received multiple times from first time delegates. 

First, why did Tom Garrett win even though more people voted for Kevin Bailey on the first and second round? This is confusing because in a general election we always want to make sure of “one person, one vote.” However, in a convention the votes are weighted to make sure each county gets to cast as many votes proportionally as their county produced for the last

Republican Gubernatorial and Presidential candidate. Therefore people from Appomattox and Buckingham were casting a small fraction of a vote. Meanwhile, people from Goochland each counted as more than a couple of Appomattox votes.

While it may not seem fair, this is because certain counties might have fewer people able to make the trip (for example Goochland Days occurred earlier in the day and Buckingham had their annual fire department day) so people are casting votes to represent those who could not or did not attend – so weighting assures they are getting fair representation.

Second, why were Bailey supporters told numerous falsehoods about the convention and the preceding March mass meeting? Unfortunately, no matter how good a system, some people will always use tactics to discourage voters from showing up and to stir up anger against an opponent’s campaign in hopes of turning the tide in their own favor, and this was no exception. This always happens in campaigns, and it cost us some votes like it does in every convention, but we worked as hard as we could.

Why did you make the motion at the end to have everyone vote to approve Tom Garrett as the nominee? As hard as everyone competes to be the nominee, the most important thing at the end of a nominating convention is for everyone’s supporters to leave united. 

Please be assured that the whole process Saturday was fair and by the book, and it is important that all of you support Tom Garrett as our next State Delegate, whether or not a Democrat or even an independent candidate opposes him.

Kevin Bailey 

Former District 56 candidate