Virgin Islands stops amendment targeting territories at convention

The Virgin Islands delegation stopped a rules amendment that would have stripped the five U.S. territories of their ability to nominate the Republican presidential candidate.

The amendment, introduced by Bruce Ash of Arizona, would have rewritten Rule No. 14(a)(1) in its entirety and awarded states a delegate for every 50,000 votes cast for the Republican nominee.

The territories—American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands—are denied a vote for president in the general election.

Virgin Islands delegate Robert Max Schanfarber, the territory’s male member of the Rules Committee (each delegation gets one man and one woman on each committee), forced Ash to acknowledge his amendment would strip the territories of their delegations through a parliamentary procedure.

Schanfarber, who is also secretary of the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands, then deployed another parliamentary procedure mechanism to end debate and force a vote.

“This amendment was beyond unfortunate. We had heard rumors someone might attempt to strip the territories of their delegations, so I was prepared,” said Schanfarber. “I am grateful to my fellow committee members for defeating the amendment, which would have ended the equal voice of the territories in the selection of the Republican presidential nominee.”

The amendment was soundly rejected on a voice vote.

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