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The Virginia G.O.P. Voted on Its Future. The Losers Reject the Results.


“To be four months away from the nomination and not have a process is terribly embarrassing and shows an unwillingness to compromise for the good of the party,” said former Gov. Bob McDonnell, the last Virginia Republican to win a statewide election. “Every passing day hurts whoever our eventual nominee is for myriad reasons.”

Sixteen minutes after The New York Times emailed State Central Committee members asking questions about the Republicans’ internal nomination battle, the party’s general counsel, Chris Marston, who is also Mr. Snyder’s campaign compliance lawyer, emailed committee members asking them not to speak to reporters.

Mr. Marston’s stated reason for avoiding media scrutiny is a lawsuit Ms. Chase filed in federal court challenging the party’s decision to hold a convention. But courts have long given political parties wide latitude to set and enforce their own rules for choosing nominees. Few outside Ms. Chase’s immediate circle of supporters believe her lawsuit, which has a hearing scheduled on Friday, will succeed.

Ms. Chase, who was still arguing with less than a week left in Mr. Trump’s presidency that he could yet be inaugurated for a second term, said Thursday that she “doesn’t trust conventions,” which she said unfairly limit voting access for members of the military and others who can’t make it to an in-person site.

“If we’re going to win as Republicans, we need to include more of the electorate who vote Republican instead of less,” she said. “Stop creating so many obstacles for people who would normally vote.”

Ms. Chase this week won support for her primary push from Mr. Youngkin. During an interview with a Charlottesville radio station on Tuesday, Mr. Youngkin, whose supporters want a primary, said it was “not fair” that the party had created uncertainty for the candidates in its nominating process.

“Boy, can I sympathize with Senator Chase on her frustration,” he said. “Here we are on February the 16th, we have an election in November, and we don’t even have a plan to select our candidate. I mean, this is absolutely amazing to me.”

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