A highly fraught convention in the 97th House of Delegates District might be all for naught.
The 97th Legislative District Committee, the local arm of the state Republican Party that voted to hold a convention to select the district’s nominee for the general election, will apparently hold a special meeting Saturday to reconsider that decision.
Among the items on the meeting agenda is one titled “rescind or amend a motion previously adopted regarding the nomination method for the 97th House of Delegates District.”
Committee chairman Thomas Miller confirmed that discussion of the upcoming meeting is on the docket by providing a copy of the agenda, but he was unable to provide further insight into why the meeting was being called.
“I can guess at the answer, but you might wish to contact the two members of the 97th LDC who wrote and sent out the Call,” Miller said in an email.
The meeting, which is open to the public, has been called by committee members John Hubbard, who represents King William County, and Michael Reynold, who represents Hanover County. Miller said that he, as chairman, would normally put out the meeting call. That wasn’t the case in this instance for reasons that were “unknown” to him.
“Generally, the chair of the 97th (me) would put out the Call, but for some unknown reason, two members of the 97th LDC did it without any coordination with the chair,” Miller said.
“The 97th LDC is going to meet on Saturday to run through a number of logistics related to the nominating contest. As part of that discussion, we will be ensuring that we can meet the LDC's obligations to run a fair and efficient nomination. We look forward to having this conversation with members of the committee. Because we are members of the LDC, we have the ability to call meetings and thought it would be appropriate, given that May 4 is fast approaching,” Reynold said in an emailed statement.
Efforts to reach Hubbard for comment by phone, text message and email Tuesday morning were unsuccessful.
The convention process has roiled the 97th District as incumbent Del. Chris Peace battles a challenge from Scott Wyatt, a member of the Hanover County Board of Supervisors. Both Peace and Wyatt have cast doubts on the fairness of the process on social media, and each camp has accused the other of trying to tilt the odds unfairly.
In a convention, delegates from each locality in a district are picked to select the nominee. The 97th District consists of New Kent County, as well as parts of Hanover and King William counties. As things stand, the convention is scheduled to be held 8 a.m. May 4 at Hanover High School.
Delegates have been selected at mass meetings that precede the convention, gatherings which have at-times been dramatic. The King William County Republican Committee’s mass meeting took place Friday, while the New Kent County Republican Committee’s mass meeting was held April 9.
97th Legislative District Committee special meeting
When: 4 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Atlee Branch Library, 9161 Atlee Road, Mechanicsville.
Jack Jacobs, 757-298-6007, email@example.com, @jajacobs_