In an unlikely turn events, Bishop E.W. Jackson a Harvard educated honorably discharged Marine and pastor from the Hampton Roads area turned back six other candidates to become the GOP candidate for Lt. Governor.
He will run along side gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli and Attorney General nominee Mark Obenshain.
Jackson sprinted out to an early lead in the balloting after delivering an electrifying speech. But as the balloting went on, he seemed to be losing steam as Northern Virginia businessman Pete Snyder began to coalesce support from the delegates who had previously supported other candidates.
Snyder was the last man standing against Jackson going into the final ballot, but after a strange turn of events lost steam. A series of flyers were distributed throughout the building that said Snyder was endorsed by several people who he was apparently not supported by.
Jackson then marched around the Coliseum with Corey Stewart who made it into the final three, but did not make it on to the final ballot. From there Jackson overwhelmed the final vote to become the first African-American nominee by the Virginia Republican Party since they picked Maurice Dawkins in 1988. He eventually lost to Chuck Robb.
The Cuccinelli- Jackson- Obenshain ticket has the potential to be one of the most conservative in Virginia political history. While Jackson and Obenshein have their own records to present it starts at the top of the ticket. This afternoon Ken Cuccinelli did not run away from his conservative credentials but he made an effort in his speech this afternoon to step out from behind the sterotype democrats are ready to paint him with.
RICHMOND (WWBT)- Ken Cuccinelli took his critics head on, claiming those who call him extreme are ignoring a record of positive accomplishments. This crowd of 8 thousand agreed, and he is now the party's nominee for the state's top job.
It was just a formality, but it is now official.
"So I humbly stand before you this morning to accept your Republican nomination in the race to be the 72nd Governor of this great Commonwealth," said Cuccinelli to loud cheers.
He is a man who built his career by fighting for conservative causes. He stood by those convictions, but today made the pivot to a candidate ready to create jobs and grow the economy.
"A stronger economy that can produce new jobs for the thousands who are currently out of work,” he said. “And to be clear, we should be trying to create those jobs right here in Virginia. Not in Mississippi or in China."
He spent plenty of time knocking his opponent Terry McAuliffe and his business record and his career as a political operator. Outside of the Richmond coliseum, McAuliffe's defenders like Democratic Party Chair Charniele Herring said that Cuccinelli can talk jobs all he wants, but she fears it is not the kind of governor he will really be.
"Ken Cuccinelli has an extreme ideological agenda when it comes to women's reproductive health care," she said.
After his speech, Cuccinelli told me one on one that he would not pursue any new legislation as governor when it comes to abortion, but instead protect the laws the currently exist. He said he has nothing to hide.
"They (voters) will have very clear idea of what to expect from a Cuccinelli governorship. Just like my last four races,” he said. “What you see is what you get."
And now Virginia voters will be the ones who get to take that information and make their decision.
Virginia Republicans chose to decide their nominees through this convention which drew a little more than 8 thousand voters, instead of a primary which had the potential to draw from tens of thousands. That decision is what ultimately pushed Lt. Governor Bill Bolling out of the race, and left Cuccinelli unopposed this afternoon.