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LIVE: The GOP Convention

Anita Kumar

The state Republican convention will kick off shortly at the Richmond Coliseum (where people are not allowed to bring in bottled water, but they are allowed to bring in guns).

More than 10,000 delegates have gathered here for an event that seems a lot like a national political convention complete with colorful political signs, campaign literature covering seats, cardboard cutouts of Mitt Romney, campaign buttons that declare "No Bama."

Bob McDonnell, the former attorney general, will officially accept his party's nomination for governor this morning. Delegates will pick Republican candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general, and chose a new party chairman.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling faces Alexandria lawyer Patrick Muldoon. Former federal prosecutor John Brownlee, Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II of Fairfax and David M. Foster, former chairman of the Arlington County School Board, are running for attorney general. Pat Mullins, a longtime Fairfax County GOP leader tapped by the party's governing board to serve as interim state leader, faces Bill Stanley, the Franklin County party chairman.

We'll be offering occasionally updates as the day progresses. Check out the latest below:

10:15 a.m.: Mullins kicks things off. "Isn't it a shame George Allen isn't sitting in the White House instead of who's there?" he asks the crowd. Yes, Allen is here somewhere in the crowd and is expected to speak later.

10:20 a.m.: Kay Coles James, who was selected convention chairwoman, gavels the meeting to order.

10:30 a.m.: Video of McDonnell is broadcast across huge TV screens. Bolling takes the stage leading people in a chant "Go Bob Go!" A series of eight other speakers praising McDonnell will follow.

11 a.m.: McDonnell takes the stage after being introduced by his eldest daughter Jeanine, 28, a former Army lieutenant who served in Iraq, after seven others offered testimonials about McDonnell's accomplishments. "My fellow Virginians, my fellow Republicans, my fellow delegates, I accept your nomination to be the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia,'' he said. McDonnell The biggest cheers in the largely conservative crowd were references to his lines about offshore oil drilling (though I didn't hear anyone say "drill, baby, drill) and the "unborn."

11:45 a.m. Talk show host Sean Hannity, who is the keynote speaker, is greeted with huge applause -- perhaps louder than McDonnell's? They love the guy.

12:15 p.m.: Nominations begins. Speeches from the seven cadidates running for office have begun. People are milling around, many are not listening.

1:30 p.m.: Balloting begins. While we wait and wait and wait, several congressmen, including House minority Eric Cantor, and former governors Jim Gilmore and George Allen speak. "The Virginia race will be a referendum on Barack Obama and I'm here to tell you that Barack Obama's progress stop here,'' Gilmore III. "It stops now." Gilmore, by the way, the only speaker who used the words "Drill, baby, drill."

3:30 p.m.: Word is that they are close to announcing the winner, which means one of the three attorney general candidates managed to secure 50 percent of the vote.

3:45 p.m. Muldoon comes to the floor to ask the delegates to nominate by acclimation Bolling.

3:46 p.m.: Foster and Brownlee ask for delegates to nominate by acclimation Cuccinelli.

3:57 p.m. Stanley ask for delagates to nominate by acclimation Mullins.

And with that, and a few victory speeches, the convention is over..

By Anita Kumar  |  May 30, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: Bolling, Cuccinelli, Mullins Win at GOP Convention


90 minutes later ... how's the balloting going?

Posted by: chrisduckworth | May 30, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I hope the speech at the convention today given by the Virginia Tech cadet graduate will be posted - both the video and the text - on not only the Virgina Republican website, the website of the National Republican party, but on every site possible. Our state and country, should be proud to have a new (recently naturalized) citizen of his thoughtfulness and character.

Posted by: jobark01 | May 30, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

You are correct. Water no, guns yes. What you fail to mention is the FULL reason behind this. Pretty much what I've come to expect from journalists. Bias vice reporting facts.

Fact, the coliseum management is free to create rules on things such as bringing in food and beverages when they sell it on premises. Also fact, the coliseum is PUBLIC property being owned by the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (board appointed by the city of Richmond) and MANAGED by a private company. That being the case, it is illegal (hence why they could not prevent the carrying of firearms) for them to create any rule prohibiting the carry of firearms. It's called state preemption.

That's all for your education today. I hope you fully research your stories before you publish.

Posted by: navy_wings | May 31, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

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