Before the balloting, the crowd erupted as Jackson vowed to “get the government off our backs, off our property, out of our families, out of our health care and out of our way.”
Jackson never trailed, leading after the first ballot and holding on despite sustained attacks and determined horse-trading by his opponents. He was joined on stage by Cuccinelli and Obenshain after 10 p.m., projecting an image of Republican unity at the conclusion of a fractious convention.
Former state senator and delegate Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (Fairfax), the wife of former congressman Tom Davis (R), was one of two candidates eliminated on the first ballot. State Sen. Stephen H. Martin (Chesterfield) was also eliminated on the first ballot.
The second ballot eliminated Susan B. Stimpson, chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, and Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (Prince William). Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, was ousted on the third ballot.
On the final ballot, Jackson beat Northern Virginia technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder after a chaotic interval in which Snyder allies falsely claimed that their candidate had the backing of Obenshain as well as Stewart, who ended up endorsing Jackson.
Democrats quickly assailed Jackson’s nomination. Former U.S. chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra and state Sen. Ralph S. Northam (Norfolk), the two Democrats vying for lieutenant governor, both labeled Jackson’s views “extreme.”
On Saturday, Republicans also made Cuccinelli’s nomination for governor official. In November, he will face businessman Terry McAuliffe, who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
In nominating Obenshain for attorney general, the party put a conservative with a storied name in the commonwealth on the November ticket.
Obenshain, a state Senator from Harrisonburg, bested state Del. Robert B. Bell (Albermarle) in a tight contest after picking up the last-minute endorsement of Cuccinelli. Obenshain won the slot 35 years after his father, Richard Obenshain, received the party’s nomination for U.S. Senate at the 1978 GOP convention. Richard Obenshain was killed in a plane crash that year.
On Saturday, Mark Obenshain tied his campaign to his father’s legacy as the architect of the modern Republican Party in Virginia, saying he was a conservative leader for a new generation. “We all have a stake in this thing called liberty,” he told the cheering crowd, and he vowed to resist federal environmental regulation, the federal health-care law and changes to anti-union right-to-work laws. “It is for all of us that I seek to stand shoulder to shoulder with you during the course of this campaign, to fight to take back our freedoms. Are you ready to fight?”