CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The election of delegates to the Republican National Convention could be a more important vote on Primary Election day in West Virginia than the popular vote for the GOP candidates for president, according to West Virginia Republican Party Chair Conrad Lucas.
“This is the first time West Virginia has mattered in a presidential race when we’ve had a primary in May,” Lucas said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” “Usually it’s settled long before it gets to us.”
But with talk about a possible brokered convention, West Virginia is in play. Voters here will choose 34 Republican convention delegates May 10, Lucas said.
“Make sure to vote for the (convention) delegates. Make sure to stay engaged on the ballot and continue looking at the ballot,” Lucas said. “The most important vote they (primary voters) will cast, in terms of delegates for the national convention, is for the delegates themselves.”
The 34 delegates will be comprised of Lucas, National Committee Chairwoman Melody Potter and National Committee Chairman Kris Warner plus 31 elected delegates including three delegates from each of the three congressional districts and 22 at-large delegates who are running statewide. The 22 will be made up of the top statewide vote getter and seven from each of the three congressional delegates.
Many of the delegates are committed to Republican presidential candidates, but some are uncommitted. It’s possible the Republican candidate elected in the popular vote in West Virginia May 10 could receive fewer convention delegates, Lucas said.
“That’s why it’s key for folks to make sure they not only vote on the popular vote to show the support for their individual candidate but they continue voting for those delegates that are committed to their individual candidate,” Lucas said.
Some Republican ballots in various counties could be several pages long because of the number of convention delegate candidates. Lucas wants to make sure voters remain engaged and not skip that part of the ballot.
“Judicial races this year are listed on the Republican ballots below the delegates races. So it’s key for us on all levels that individuals stay tuned in,” Lucas said.
The convention delegates could change their votes at the convention if a candidate doesn’t receive enough votes on the first ballot.