Trump Triumphs in US Virgin Islands Caucus, Forges Ahead in 2024 Republican Nomination Race

FREDERIKSTED, St. Croix, USVI – In a resounding victory, former President Donald J. Trump emerged victorious in the Virgin Islands caucus on Thursday, February 8, 2024. The triumph solidified his position as a frontrunner in the race for the 2024 Republican National Convention nomination.

The caucus, the third of its kind in the United States, employed a ranked-choice voting system, adding an extra layer of complexity and nuance to the electoral process. Gordon Ackley, the chairman of the Republican Party in the Virgin Islands, emphasized the significance of the caucus, declaring, “Based on the results, the Virgin Islands has put Trump on track to become the presumptive Republican nominee.”

Trump secured a commanding 73.98 percent of the vote, outpacing his closest competitor, former Ambassador N. Nikki Haley, who garnered 26.02 percent. Other contenders on the ballot included former Governor Chris Christie, Governor Ronald D. DeSantis, businessman Perry Johnson, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.

The ranked-choice voting mechanism allowed voters to rank candidates, ensuring their votes would be counted towards a backup choice if their primary candidate withdrew. Notably, US Senator Tim Scott and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum had withdrawn after initially qualifying for the ballot.

USVI Sends 9 Delegates to National Convention

The Virgin Islands will send a delegation of nine delegates and six alternates to the national convention, representing the territory’s voice in the broader Republican decision-making process.

The caucus witnessed spirited competition among candidates, with Haley, Trump, and DeSantis actively engaging Virgin Islands voters. The Jeffrey E. Epstein scandal had a noticeable impact on the presidential campaign, with DeSantis visiting St. Thomas and deploying surrogates to the islands. Haley, in her virtual appearances, focused on issues of equality for US territories and voting rights, while Trump’s campaign featured prominent supporters and discussions on key policy matters.

Voting took place across all three islands, with precincts set up at notable locations such as the La Reine Chicken Shack on St. Croix and Bluebeard’s Castle on St. Thomas.

In addition to the candidate selection, internal Republican party elections took place, resulting in April Newland’s election as the national committeewoman, triumphing over Antoinette Gumbs-Hecht. John Yob secured the national committeeman position unopposed.

The evening’s festivities also included the honoring of St. Thomas Republican Fred Vialet Jr. with the RNC Frederick Douglass Award. This recognition celebrated Vialet’s lifetime of service and contributions to the Republican Party. RNC chairman Ronna McDaniel commended Vialet for his dedication and efforts to expand the party’s presence in the Virgin Islands and beyond.

As the political landscape continues to evolve, Trump’s victory in the Virgin Islands caucus positions him as a formidable force in the larger 2024 Republican nomination race, setting the stage for an intriguing and closely watched campaign ahead.

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