March 10, 2016 USVI Republican Caucus

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9 Delegates
Summary:  Intrigue in paradise

(9 delegates)

USVI GOP  |  Ballot [PDF]

Organization:  BUSH  | CARSON  |  CRUZ 

Over 300 Republicans participated in the caucus, held in two locations, one on St. Thomas and one St. Croix.  The Cruz and Carson campaigns were most active, even sending out mail.

The result of the vote appeared to be that the the nine-person delegation would be uncommitted (PDF), which would make for interesting times if it comes to a contested convention.  However, serious political intrigue followed.

Among the delegates elected on March 10 were John Yob, until recently at least, a Michigan-based political consultant who served as national political director on Rand Paul's presidential campaign, his wife Erica Yob, and associate Lindsey Eilon. 
Yob is also author of Chaos: The Outsider's Guide to a Contested Republican National Convention 2016 (RealTimeBooks, Feb. 18, 2016). >

The Supervisor of the Elections System of the Virgin Islands in a March 4 letter had challenged the Yobs' and the Eilons' eligibility based on a 90-day residency requirement.  The matter went to court, but they were allowed to remain as candidates for delegate.  On March 22 the court issued a
preliminary injunction against the Supervisor of Elections.  The St. Thomas-St. John Elections Board voted to drop the 90-day residency requirement on May 19.

On a separate track, John Canegata, the chairman of the USVI GOP, found that the six uncommitted delegates elected on March 10 were disqualified because of a technicality -- they had failed to confirm in writing within five days, as required by Rule 11 of party rules, that they accepted election and would be able to attend the Republican National Convention.  Canegata's decision would elevate the six alternates to the delegate positions.  (See March 30 memo [PDF]).

On April 15 Holland Redfield, the RNC committeeman for the Virgin Islands who is an automatic delegate, and the six delegates elected at the caucus filed suit in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands seeking to have the Court order Canegata to certify them as delegates to the Convention.

The RNC has accepted the delegation as presented and certified by Chairman Canegata and the secretary of the USVI GOP.

National delegate allocation:  Uncommitted 5, Rubio 2, Trump 1, Cruz 1.


See also:
Lauren Fox.  "What The Heck Is Going On With The Virgin Islands Republican Party?"  Talking Points Memo, March 10, 2016.

Kyle Cheney.  "Cruz, Trump score new delegates in Virgin Islands shakeup."  Politico, March 22, 2016.

Ernice Gilbert.  "John Canegata Moves Ahead of Himself and Causes More Confusion in Local GOP Caucus."  The Virgin Islands Consortium, March 23, 2016.

Lauren Fox.  "John Yob Strikes Back: Delegates File Lawsuite Against VI GOP Chairman."  Talking Points Memo, April 15, 2016.

Nolan D. McCaskill.  "Virgin Islands GOP meeting descends into chaos."  Politico, April 18, 2016.


John Patrick Yob

Facebook posting March 22, 2016

Today we won in court and were granted the preliminary injunction against the Supervisor of Elections in the Virgin Islands. The response of the USVI GOP Chairman was to act like a dictator, break the USVI GOP rules, and try to select his own delegates.

Here are my statements:

"I am pleased that the judge agreed with us that there is no 90-day residency requirement and therefore granted our preliminary injunction against the Supervisor of Elections. The abuse of power by Ms Fawkes and Belardo to assist her husband has now been determined to have been against the statute of the Virgin Islands. I look forward to the Certification Committee of the United States Virgin Islands Republican Party certifying the results of the caucus and serving as a delegate in Cleveland."

"The Chairman is not a dictator and can not unilaterally break the USVI GOP rules to hand select his preferred delegates. He has unfortunately decided once again to either not read the rules or not follow the rules. Either way, it is clear that the 5-day period is after notification that follows the certification of the election by the certification committee. The dispute committee has not yet resolved the disputes, the certification committee has not yet certified the results of the election, we have not yet been notified following the certification, and therefore we will all still be delegates pending the official certification of the certification committee. We are confident we will be properly certified by the certification committee."

Valerie L. Stiles [Stiles was a delegate candidate pledged to Rubio]
March 23, 2016

Stiles: GOP Delegate Proceedings Not Over

Valerie Stiles, a real Virgin Islander, Republican activist and intervener in the Job Yob’s unprecedented lawsuit against the neutral third-party supervisor of elections, issues the following statement:

There are serious misrepresentations in reports that political saboteur John Yob and his mercenaries won Tuesday’s proceedings in Superior Court. The case is not over. The court has not issued a permanent ruling — let alone heard any evidence on factual issues — on whether political saboteur John Yob and his mercenaries were real domiciled Virgin Islanders.

John Yob’s real motives are clear. He looks at the Virgin Islands and sees a banana republic that he can overthrow with a coup to grow his political power and line his pockets with the cash of a presidential candidate seeking to win what is looking like a contested Republican convention.

Thank you,

Valerie L. Stiles