CAMPBELL COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — More than 3,500 delegates registered to vote and more than 60% are expected to cast drive-thru ballots Saturday at the Republican Party’s 5th District Convention held in Campbell County.
There are 21 counties and two cities that make up the district. Delegates casting ballots were given three hour windows for their separate three zones. Those times range from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voting was done by paper ballot, delegates never had to leave their car, but a license was required.
Smaller counties like Halifax and Prince Edward kicked off Saturday’s voting.
Staff on site said voters who came on time had an average wait of five minutes and 20 seconds. There was a separate line that was much longer, stretching from the entrance of Tree of Life Ministries through several parking lots for those attempting to vote outside of their scheduled time. Some delegates said they waited for hours.
Incumbent 5th District Rep. Denver Riggleman explained his frustration.
“A convention like this, that is this small, this corrupt, right, and you have people that want to leave because they’ve been in line for an hour already,” he said. “That’s the thing, this is just a ridiculous way to nominate candidates.”
Mary Coran, who is supporting opponent Bob Good, said she will vote for whoever wins, but Rep. Riggleman is not her first choice.
“When he was running in the general election, I definitely cast my vote for Riggleman, I’ll support whoever the nominee is.”
Coran said she was excited to see the turnout.
“Given that we couldn’t have a complete convention in person with social-distancing and other requirements, I believe this was the next best thing.”
She hopes to become a national delegate to make sure the Republican Party’s platform holds strong.
“There are so many things in society that are affected by traditional marriage. Children who grow up in a two-parent household are less likely to be in poverty, less likely to be on welfare programs, government assistance, less likely to be incarcerated. I mean the question that I would like for people to ask is how many of the people who are burning down buildings, who are rioting violently how many of those people grew up in homes with both of their parents, and I think that the statistics would show you that most of them did not,” Coran said.
Congressman Riggleman, however, says marriage is not the Republican Party’s business. The incumbent Republican gained national attention last year after he presided over a same-sex wedding.
“Our founding fathers were about freedom of thought, I think that’s what the Republican party is, it’s a big tent party that actually wants the government to stay out of their business, right? They want them to stay out of our pocketbooks, but also our bedrooms.”
Those on the outside looking in have said the race between Riggleman and Good for the House of Representatives seat has gotten “vicious,” Coran said. “I will be very glad that this is over after today, it’s been an insane, an insanely vicious, contentious campaign.”
Liberty University student and Rep. Riggleman supporter Meredith Minto explained what she has seen.
“Bob is trying to get Denver out because apparently he thinks Denver is not conservative enough, or Republican enough, but Denver is actually the only candidate in this race that is endorsed by the president.”
Voting ends for delegates in the 5th district at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13.
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