GOP to use Convention to pick 5th District Candidate

By The Daily Progress

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Republican leaders in Virginia’s 5th District will pick from among five candidates for their party nomination in this year’s congressional election.

The district’s Republican committee met in Albemarle County on Saturday to discuss whether this year’s nominee will be chosen by convention or an open primary.

After giving each of the five Republican candidates a few minutes to make their case for a convention or primary, the committee voted 19-16 in favor of a convention.

Five candidates have announced their intention to take over the congressional seat from Republican Rep. Robert Hurt, who has said he will retire from the post at the end of his term in January 2017.

On Thursday, Lynchburg resident Andrew Griffin announced that he would run, joining state Sen. Thomas A. Garrett Jr., R-Buckingham; businessman Jim McKelvey; technology executive Michael Del Rosso; and congressional intelligence adviser Joseph Whited.

Griffin and Whited had previously expressed support for an open primary, in which registered voters choose the party nominee.

Garrett, McKelvey and Del Rosso had called for a convention, in which party delegates vote on a nominee.

The committee typically chooses nominees by convention, although Hurt was selected in an open primary in 2010.

The convention is scheduled for May 14.