The U.S. Virgin Islands will hold its caucus February 8, making the U.S. territory the third Republican primary contest in the current election cycle, according to Gordon Ackley, chairman of the Republican Party in the Virgin Islands.
The February 8 caucus date will make the territory the third overall GOP primary contest, following the first in the nation caucus in Iowa, which takes place January 15.
According to the press release, the U.S. Virgin Islands date will also follow the New Hampshire primary. South Carolina, notably, will hold its primary February 24.
Eight candidates qualify for the U.S. Virgin Islands caucus — former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, businessman Perry Johnson, anti-woke businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
“The Virgin Islands caucus will be a free, fair and honest election,” Ackley said in a statement. “Preferential, or ranked-choice, voting gives every candidate a level playing field to compete and earn a majority of the vote.”
“With the exception of 1976 — when Ronald Reagan challenged an unelected President Gerald Ford — the Virgin Islands has never seen this kind of attention from presidential candidates of either party,” he continued. “Mark your calendar: America’s Caribbean will be the place to be in February 2024.”
Further, the press release noted that DeSantis “was the first to file and qualify after meeting with Ackley in Milwaukee on the sidelines of the first presidential debate” and will appear at a “territorial GOP-hosted event on St. Thomas” on October 16.
More via the press release:
In 2016 — the last contested GOP campaign — a total of 1,627 voters cast ballots in the V.I. caucus. The results were 65.33 percent for the uncommitted ballot line, 11.74 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz, 9.90 percent for Sen. Marco Rubio, 6.64 percent for Ben Carson and 6.39 percent for Trump.
In addition to the ballot line for president, the caucus will also serve as an election for three internal party leadership offices: RNC national committeewoman, RNC national committeeman and five State Committee members from each of the territory’s two electoral districts.
The release notes that “six of the nine V.I. delegates to the 2024 Republican National Convention will be elected in a process separate from the caucus.”
The news comes as Trump continues to dominate in both national and state level polls, consistently leading his challengers by double digits throughout the primary race.