Superior Court Judge: GOP Primary Must Go Forward And Party Brass Can’t Stop It
KINGSHILL — A temporary restraining order was issued late Friday by Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay at the behest of Gordon Ackley and other local Republicans after John Canegata sought to remain in office as territorial Republican chairman by canceling the Republican primary election.
The order bars Canegata and Robert Max Schanfarber, the Republican Party’s secretary, from circumventing the election of party offices and the selection of public office nominees in the primary election by conducting their own caucus. It also stops Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes and the Board of Elections from canceling the primary.
Canegata and Schanfarber took out nominating papers for chairman and national committeeman, but apparently failed to collect enough signatures to appear on the ballot. The two men then asked Fawkes to cancel the primary just days before the filing deadline for candidates.
Under Virgin Islands elections law a party can opt-out of the primary if it submits a plan to the Board of Elections for approval.
However, the scheme hatched by Canegata and Schanfarber was never approved by the Republican Party’s Territorial Committee before a party rules deadline of February 1, 2019.
In 2018, Fawkes canceled the Republican primary after Canegata promised her he would hold his own caucus in lieu of the primary.