Liberty is hosting a “drive-up convention” on May 8, 2021.
Here is Patrick Wilson at the Richmond-Times Dispatch:
After months of disagreement, the Virginia Republican Party’s governing body agreed Tuesday night on a method to nominate statewide candidates for the November election. They’ll hold a drive-up convention May 8 on the campus of Liberty University.
The decision followed feuds among members of the party’s State Central Committee, who had opted for a convention to nominate candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. But such a gathering would be illegal under Virginia’s COVID-19 rules.
Republicans spent months unable to reach agreement until Tuesday night.
The convention at Liberty, the Christian university well known for its affiliations with conservative causes, is to be held at 9 a.m. Republicans said convention delegates will be able to stay in their cars the entire time, possibly listening to proceedings on a radio broadcast.
Read the rest here.
ADDENDUM (12:10pm): Apparently this is not a done deal. Here is The Washington Post:
State Republican Party leaders voted this week to choose their nominee for Virginia governor at a drive-in convention at Liberty University, a decision that seemed to take officials at the Lynchburg campus by surprise.
The state GOP’s governing board voted late Tuesday night to hold its convention in parking lots spread out across campus, with thousands of delegates seated in their vehicles and candidate speeches possibly piped in through car radios. The plan was meant to meet coronavirus restrictions and end a protracted internal party struggle over the nomination method.
State Central Committee members who pitched the idea acknowledged before the vote that they had no formal agreement with Liberty, saying the party could pursue that only after the committee signed off on the principle.
But Liberty seemed to have been caught off guard as news spread that the GOP had settled on a convention on campus. The school issued a statement Wednesday saying it had fielded only a broad inquiry from the GOP, with no discussions about the number of parking spaces needed or the rental cost. Even the date — May 8 — was a surprise to Liberty. The party had previously discussed a May 1 convention.
“So far, Liberty has not agreed to any particular plan or contract,” the statement said, going on to add that the school would rent its parking areas to any political party if asked, as it has done in the past for carnivals, circuses and car shows.
The school stressed that even if they come to terms, the party will pay “full rental cost.” Critics have questioned the university’s status as a nonprofit, which are banned from political campaign activities, particularly after former Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. became a strong advocate for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential primary and beyond. Falwell stepped down last year after personal scandals.
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