Virginia Beach Del. Jason Miyares will be the Republican nominee for attorney general.
Miyares edged Chuck Smith, a Virginia Beach lawyer, on the third round of counting votes cast during the party's drive-through unassembled convention on Saturday.
Chesterfield County Supervisor Leslie Haley was eliminated after the first round of votes was counted, and Northern Virginia lawyer Jack White was eliminated after the second round of counting.
Under the Republican's format of ranked-choice voting, votes for Haley and White were reallocated among the remaining candidates based on delegates' second and third choices. Miyares maintained a small lead over Smith on every round of counting and won with 51.7% of the weighted votes, according to data compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.
A total of about 30,000 delegates voted at 39 locations on Saturday, including the Prince William County Fairgrounds. That represented about 60% of the 53,000 delegates who registered to participate in the convention. Votes were weighted based on population and a locality's support for Republicans in the past. All of the ballots were driven to Richmond, where counting began Sunday afternoon in a hotel ballroom.
In a statement Monday afternoon, White endorsed Miyares.
"Now is not the time to fight among ourselves, but to unite conservatives, moderates and independents alike to put Virginia on the path to new leadership," White said in a statement from his campaign. "Jason Miyares has my full support, and I hope you’ll be with him in November."
Miyares was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2015 and re-elected in 2017 and 2019. He holds a bachelor’s in business administration from James Madison University and is a graduate of the College of William & Mary School of Law, where he served on the Honor Council. He is a past president of Cape Henry Rotary, past chairman of the Hampton Roads Young Republicans, founding member of the Hampton Roads Federalist Society, a member of the Virginia Beach Bar Association, and a member of Galilee Episcopal Church.
In the fall election, Miyares will face either incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring or challenger Jay Jones, a member of the House of Delegates from Norfolk. Democrats are holding a primary June 8 to select their statewide nominees, although early voting began several weeks ago and continues through June 5.
Meanwhile, the GOP was began counting ballots on Monday in the seven-way race for the party's gubernatorial nomination. That will be followed by counting for in the six-way lieutenant governor's race.