V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen MacKay dealt a potential deathblow to Republican Party Chairman John Canegata’s efforts to replace the delegates elected in March to attend the Republican National Convention with alternatives.
MacKay said in a declarative judgment that the V.I. Code “does not impose a 90-day durational residency requirement on plaintiffs John Yob, Erica Yob, Ethan Eilon, Lindsay Eilon or any other prospective Virgin Islands voter” before they can register to vote.
This ruling falls on the heels of a Republican National Committee’s Standing Committee on Contests report last week that the six delegates originally elected to go to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this month were certified to go
After that committee ruling, Canegata vowed to appeal it and said the Yobs had committed election fraud and swore false oaths. The acrimonious infighting in the Virgin Islands Republican Party is in its fifth month and has resulted in several lawsuits and claims of assault and defamation.
Even if MacKay’s ruling ends the squabble about who will go to Cleveland representing V.I. Republicans, the battle over who is head of the local party will probably continue until the convention.
Two different local conventions of Republicans were held on St. Thomas this year. One reelected Canegata as party chairman; the other elected Warren Bruce Cole as the party head.
On Thursday, the national committee that ruled on which V.I. delegates should go to Cleveland decided it did not have the authority to rule on who was the head of the party in the Virgin Islands.